By Devon Joy and Joelle Hamilton, co-presidents of the Interact Club of South Delta Secondary, British Columbia, Canada
“How does Interact affect Positive Peace?
That is the question we had to ask ourselves when we were selected to represent Interact at Rotary Peace Day on 21 September 2019. This annual event is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Tsawwassen, British Columbia, Canada, and attended by community leaders, elders of Tsawwassen First Nations, Rotarians, members of Tsawwassen, and the greater Delta community.
When we thought about how we as Interact Club members could bring about Positive Peace, we thought about our desire to give back to the community, our drive to work with organizations that also promote peace, and our efforts to run our club in a way that builds harmony. We realized that there were many similarities between what is important to us and the eight pillars of Positive Peace.
Through Rotary, Interact clubs have the opportunity to contribute to Positive Peace beyond the borders of our local communities. The help we receive from our Rotary club makes this possible. Each year we look for an international cause to support. For the second year, we have chosen the Innocence Lost Foundation, a volunteer-operated organization that strives to create rehabilitation and resource centers for former child soldiers in Africa. Innocence Lost is empowering the youth to get jobs and support themselves as adults, thereby making them less vulnerable to the military factions that enlist them, through a new community center being built in Sierra Leone. The center will provide sports therapy, counselling, and education. Our Interact club is planning on using some of the money we make in our fundraisers to support the Innocence Lost Foundation, a small contribution to creating peace across the world.
Building community is one of the main contributors to Positive Peace. As Interactors, we take this head-on by doing what we can to give back to our community. Rotary has offered us many opportunities to achieve this. Our Interact club meetings and events strive to achieve harmony every day. We welcome anyone who wishes to join our club, with no exclusion, and will never turn anyone away. The two large events we do within the school promote friendship and build harmonious relationships. Every year we spread joy around Christmas and Valentine’s Day with candy grams that students send to their friends, teachers and other school staff.
Rotary and Interact contributes to positive peace in more ways than we could count. We as Interactors believe that such peace is important because it promotes harmony throughout communities such as our own, it encourages us to work with organizations to achieve mutual goals. We see the benefit of promoting Positive Peace and want to spread as much serenity as possible.
Rotary has partnered with the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) to lead the conversation to define what peace is (and isn’t), how peace is measured, and how peace is practiced. Be a peace builder in your community. Start by joining the Rotary Positive Peace Academy.