Posted by Sandy Warren on Sep 17, 2019
Past District Governor Nick Frankle
Discusses Peacebuilder Clubs
Among the various elements of Rotary's global activities, promoting peace stands as a vital component of the organization's mission. During his visit to our Club on Monday, September 16, Past District 5240 Governor Nick Frankle remarked that Rotarians "have always been peacebuilders." He then provided an overview of Rotary's peacebuilding efforts worldwide.
"Peace is more than no violence," Nick said. "It's addressing conditions in the world that can lead to conflict." As examples, he noted that 900 million people worldwide do not have enough food to be healthy, 14% of the world's population is illiterate, 8% of the world's population lives on less than $1.90 per day, and a child or woman is sold somewhere in the world every minute of every day. Rotary's efforts to address these problems are very real contributors to peace.
Beyond these day-to-day efforts, Rotary International maintains a formal peacebuilding program. There are Rotary Peace Centers at six universities around the world. Each year, Rotary selects up to 100 professionals to receive fellowships to study at those Peace Centers. Peace fellows who graduate are engaged in hundreds of peacebuilding projects around the world, many in high-risk areas.
Nick then turned his attention to the local level and an answer to the question, "What can one Rotarian do?" Quite a lot, actually. Nick summarized some major projects that had been initiated by individual Rotarians, and he also explained that every local project that addresses homelessness, supports free clinics, engages youth, or responds to disasters also contributes to peacebuilding.
Coming up on January 17-18, 2020 is the Rotary International Peace Conference in Ontario, California. More than 2,500 leaders from business, healthcare, academia, NGOs, faith-based organizations and mediation services will gather to share and discuss peacebuilding techniques and plans. More information is available here.
"The new peace symbol," said Nick, "is the Rotary logo."