Bridging differences for peace through intercountry committees

By Ellina Kushnir, Rotary Service & Engagement staff

Intercountry committees date back to the early 1930s when Rotary members from Germany and France organized a petit comité to further mutual understanding between Rotarians of those two countries. The idea caught on and nearly 30 committees were created in Europe by 1937 when war prevented them from functioning.

The France-Germany intercountry committee reformed in 1950, followed by many others. Since then, intercountry committees continue to foster international understanding, improve relationships between regions that have historically been affected by conflict, and bridge cultural, language, and geographic differences. Intercountry committees offer the opportunity for fellowship and service between clubs and districts in two countries.

Today there are an estimated 400 ICCs throughout the Rotary world. ICCs helps clubs form twin club relationships for long-term cooperation with international counterparts, help districts find partners for programs like Rotary Friendships Exchanges, and lead to innovative, impactful service projects like the one started by the Poland-Ukraine ICC. Contact your district international service chair or district governor to learn about your country’s involvement in ICCs.

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