By Masao Mizuno, Rotary Club of Ageo West, Japan
Hosting a Peace Fellow substantially changed my life in Rotary. Since joining Rotary, I have been running a company that imports industrial tools, mostly from Israel and Europe, so I am familiar with talking to people from other countries.
My initial purpose for joining Rotary was to make local friends and expand my network. However, I began to think about peace more seriously after running a joint venture with an Israeli company. After seven years in my club, I took a position on our club’s Rotary Foundation committee, and heard about the Rotary Peace Fellowship program. Getting involved seemed like the right thing to do.
I met many Peace Fellows in May of 2015 as part of a cross-cultural trip I joined. The students were so similar to the people I work with internationally, so it took only a few seconds to make friends with them. Most of the Peace Fellows are well experienced in both studying and travelling. When I talk to them, I feel relaxed and encouraged. Additionally, I have had many chances to meet with family members and friends of Peace Fellows as a Rotary Foundation committee member during the last two years.
I have been enjoying the time I get to spend with Peace Fellows and I appreciate the opportunity to support these enthusiastic young students.
By volunteering as host counselors, Rotary members share culture and build friendships with Peace Fellows. Learn more about the Rotary Peace Centers.
Adapted with permission from the ICU Rotary Peace Center newsletter (February 2017)