By Chris Offer, Rotary Club of Ladner, Delta, British Columbia, Canada, and chair of the Peace Major Gifts Initiative
I spent three days in Ontario, California, USA, in January with a group of passionate peacebuilders learning to be Rotary Positive Peace Activators.
The goal of the three-day training was to develop a worldwide network of peacebuilders to support Rotarians and Rotaractors in fostering Positive Peace in their communities. By 2024, Rotary will train 150 new Positive Peace Activators in six global regions, prepared to educate, coach, and accompany Rotarians in at least 1,000 presentations and/or workshops, and act as consultants on projects locally and globally.
The training is the next step in a growing list of Rotary peace initiatives that I believe are pushing Rotary to a tipping point. Our peace programs will begin rapidly expanding and will change Rotary forever as we go from being advocates for peace to something grander: active and effective peacebuilders.
In 2017, Rotary and the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) formed a strategic partnership. This alliance builds on IEP’s research into Positive Peace – the attitudes, institutions, and structures that shape peaceful societies – as well as Rotary’s grassroots work in communities globally.
In addition to our partnership with IEP, Rotary’s Peace Centers are expanding, Rotary Peace Fellows are taking on diverse roles, there is an online peace academy, and clubs and districts are increasing their reach with a variety of peace projects. Major positive peace projects occurred in 2019 in Mexico and Colombia.
The 25 activators who participated in the training with me were Rotarians, peace fellows, Rotaractors, and Rotary Global Scholars. We were trained on the IEP positive peace model and on facilitating meetings. We focused on skills that will enable us to lead education programs with Rotary-affiliated groups.
Rotary seeks to create the conditions for Positive Peace by funding and implementing thousands of local and international peace projects. The Rotary Positive Peace Activators will take a lead as advisors to assist clubs and districts.
This is our peace tipping point.
- Support Rotary’s work in building peace through your generous gift (select the Endowment-Rotary Peace Centers from the donate menu)
- Read more about Rotary’s partnership with IEP
- Learn about the Rotary Positive Peace Academy
- Contact Summer Lewis for more information on the Rotary Positive Peace Activators