By Haley Lavergne, a member of the Interact Club of West Feliciana High School in St. Francisville, Louisiana, USA.
I was delighted to attend the Rotary Global Peace Forum in Honolulu, Hawaii, 25-27 January, with my mother as the winner of the grand prize in the Interact Peace Through Service Postcard Contest. The most powerful moment for me was to hear Aung San Suu Kyi speak about the power of individual kindness and compassion.
Personally, at times I feel overwhelmed how much need and suffering is in the world. Suu Kyi empowered her audience to be agents of kindness. She emphasized the power of compassion and in doing so helped me to see that as we strive to serve one another and work towards peace, small acts count. Small acts accumulate and grow to be great things.
The forum was a phenomenal experience. I got to attend various workshops, learn about Hawaiian culture, and even had the opportunity to meet the current RI President, Sakuji Tanaka, and Sylvia Whitlock, who in 1987 became the first female president of a Rotary club. I met Rotarians from around the world and had great conversations about the service projects they were passionate and involved with.
Thank you Interact for this wonderful opportunity. I am honored to have been able to attend and know that the lessons and experiences from this forum will stay with me forever.
Editor’s note: Haley and her mother received round trip airfare to the Rotary Global Peace Forum as the grand prize winner of the Interact Peace Through Service Postcard Contest. View Haley’s winning design or all the postcard entries.