Rotarians in India, Pakistan promote peace at sacred site

Rotarians from India and Pakistan exchange club banners during the visit to Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan, a Sikh holy site.

By Amrit Pal Singh, District 3080 assistant governor and past president of the Rotary Club of Chandigarh, India

I was thrilled recently to help coordinate a remarkable meeting between Rotary members in India and Pakistan that promoted peace and understanding between our two countries. On 4 March, more than 100 Rotary members, friends, and family from India and another 100-plus from Pakistan met together at a sacred site in Pakistan. The goodwill meeting sought to break down some of the historic barriers of animosity between our countries and unite us in the spirit of Rotary fellowship.

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Rotary network helps family attacked by pirates

Chris, Cory, and Stella their dog.

By Vince DiCarolis, president of the Rotary Club of Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA

We all have various reasons for joining Rotary – to give back to our communities, to experience fellowship, or to help people in other countries. But these things come and go. I recently experienced a situation that confirmed for me why I will always remain a member. The Rotary network came to the aid of a member’s family after they were attacked by pirates on their way to the Caribbean.

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Ukraine assistance program changes lives

Oleg and Oksana, their daughter Nastya, and twin boys Bohdan and Roman.

By Doug Lee, Rotary Club of Dixon, Illinois, USA

“Pajama Day?”

Since I’d “met” her in mid-October, Oksana had sent me hundreds of e-mails through Facebook Messenger. I’m pretty sure this was the first one that made me laugh out loud.

We’d just enrolled Oksana’s daughter Nastya in first grade at Washington School in Dixon, Illinois, and Nastya’s teacher had excitedly shared the schedule for the week ahead. When Oksana read Friday was Pajama Day, she was beyond perplexed.

In Ukraine, you see, schools don’t celebrate Pajama Day.

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4 ways to be a disruptor for peace

Four peace fellows sit on steps outside the center
Rotary Peace Fellows at the Rotary Peace Center at Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda.

By Rebecca Crall, Areas of Focus Manager, Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention

In a conversation recently with a group of professional peacebuilders, one of my colleagues (and a new Rotary member) surprised me when he referred to Rotary as a “disruptor for peace.” A disruptor for peace? That was something new and unexpected.

Disruption signals great change – change that’s happening fast. It often feels like it’s taking place at a dizzying pace, and it’s associated with chaos and displacement. It’s not something we often imagine wanting more of. But my colleague’s comment got me thinking of disrupting for good: using our platform as Rotary members to disrupt violence and create peace. Can we apply this idea to build a future where peace is our norm?

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Creating peace clubs in Nigerian schools

A women draws a cloud on a pink sheet of paper while several other people around a table watch
Participants of a workshop in Nigeria designed to prevent violent extremism among youth.

By Eyerusalem Azmeraw, Project Officer, UNESCO IICBA, and Pietro Uzochukwu Macleo, Chair of the Rotary Nigeria National Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention Committee and Peace Chair for the Great Britain and Ireland – Nigeria Rotary Intercountry Committee

In February 2022, we joined together with other colleagues to organize a workshop in Nigeria on preventing violent extremism among young people. Conflict and violence have long been prevalent in the country, with youth recognized as having a role in preventing extremism. Our aim was to address violent extremism and its underlying causes among youth by strengthening the ability of teachers to deal with these issues.

Through a train-the-trainers model, we empowered learners to critically examine their beliefs, values, and knowledge in order to develop critical thinking. We relied on transformative pedagogy, a holistic educational approach that engages learners as whole persons in collaborative and participatory activities for peacebuilding. The approach creates a sense of interdependence and interconnectedness among people who are learning to live together.

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