Kiran Sirah speaks at the International Assembly 22 January. Photo by Alyce Henson/Rotary International
Kiran Sirah is the executive director of the International Storytelling Center in Jonesborough, Tennessee. He graduated from the Rotary Peace Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2013 with a Master of Arts in Folklore. The following is a excerpt from his speech 22 January at the International Assembly, a training event for incoming leaders in San Diego, California, USA.
There is a saying: The world is like a book, and those who do not travel will only ever have read the first page. For me storytelling is a way of traveling the world. Why? Because it enables us to be inspired, to follow our dreams, and to realize that our stories belong to a world full of stories just waiting to unfold.
The Courting Blakness art show included work by indigenous peoples.
By Bobbie Chew Bigby
Since beginning as a Rotary Peace Fellow at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, earlier this year, I have found many opportunities to build peace and not even have to leave campus.
One of the most profound experiences thus far was volunteering to put together “Courting Blakness,” a curated art show that featured works by Australia’s First Peoples — Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. The show was set against the backdrop of the Great Court, known for its picturesque grassy area and stunning sandstone pillars. Continue reading
Kiran Singh Sirah (left) at the United Nations in New York during International Day of Peace.
By Kiran Singh Sirah, 2011-13 Rotary Peace Fellow, Duke University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
There are moments in our lives that we remember forever. These moments become our stories and help us understand and connect with a larger global community. When we tell our stories, we inspire others to tell their stories, and that produces positive change. Ultimately, through the power of storytelling, we build healthier communities, more effective workplaces, and schools of learning that enrich our lives. Continue reading
Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Luke Addison at the PeaceJam conference in Monaco.
By Luke Addison, a member of the Rotaract Club of University of Winchester, England
Two years ago, two members of the Winchester Rotary Club gave a talk at the University of Winchester. I was so inspired by the work they described and their own personal reasons for joining that I stayed to ask them how I could help out.
Eventually the experience motivated me to seek out other students and form a Rotaract Club. The club took off amazingly, and through our local and international service projects, my eyes were open to the amazing work Rotary and Rotaract members do. I developed a passion for the world outside Winchester and a strong desire to make a difference. Continue reading
Athili Sapriina during the annual Rotary Peace Fellow seminar at the University of Queensland, Australia.
By Athili Sapriina, 2013-2014 Rotary Peace Fellow at the University of Queensland, Australia
I first became aware of Rotary Peace Fellowships during a trip to the Rotary Peace Center at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, US, in 2008. I had previously attended the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York City and over the years witnessed an increased involvement of Rotary with indigenous peoples issues. I am honored to be the first Naga to be awarded a Rotary Peace Fellowship.
The three million Nagas are indigenous peoples of the mountainous frontier between India and Burma. Since the end of British colonialism, Nagas have fiercely defended their independence resulting in the death of thousands — Indians, Burmese and Nagas.
Rotary Peace Fellows take part in a leadership retreat.
By Pamela Broussard, 2007 Rotary Peace Fellow at Chulalongkorn University, Thailand
It has been more than 10 years since Rotary started training Rotary Peace Fellows around the globe. Today there are over 800 alumni working in a range of careers such as: international development, relief work, refugee services, military, government, education, and local grassroots organizations. If you have seen a crisis in the news, or on the Continue reading