By Ademar Bechtold and Quentin Wodon, Rotary Action Group for Refugees, Forced Displacement, and Migration
The number of refugees globally has been steadily rising. The ongoing war in Ukraine has created an even larger humanitarian crisis with millions of displaced people. There is much that Rotary clubs are doing, and can be doing, to help the resettlement of refugees.
About a month ago, Ademar and I joined a combined board meeting of our Rotary Action Group and the Rotary Fellowship for Global Development, discussing what could be done to help the resettlement of Afghan refugees in the United States. Ademar, a professor of economics at Notre Dame of Maryland University, suggested his university might be able to provide one or two scholarships for Afghan youth. We all thought this would be a brilliant idea.
By Tom Gump, organizer of The Rotary Community Corps (RCC) for the Afghan Community in Minnesota, USA, and a past district governor
If you want to create positive peace in the world, you do not need to go all the way to Afghanistan or Ukraine, you can, together with others, have an impact from your own backyard. Positive peace is not only the absence of violence, but also includes a state of collaboration and support between states, nations, or members of a society.
Rotary and The Rotary Foundation are invested in creating positive peace. But what can we do in our local area to contribute to positive peace?
By Kiran Singh Sirah, a 2011-13 Rotary Peace Fellow and president of the International Storytelling Center in Jonesborough, Tennessee, USA
The news coming out of Afghanistan has been painful to watch. So many of these images of suffering — the cargo plane filled with refugees, and especially the image of the baby being passed over barbed wire to a soldier — reminded me of my own family’s experience as refugees. Forty-nine years ago, they were forced to flee their home in Uganda along with 50,000 others, when a murderous dictator threatened them with genocide.
This week, I am heading from Seattle to New York to speak for 180 seconds. I will be talking at a United Nations meeting about the fight to eradicate polio. I am very passionate on the subject, and I usually prefer to discuss it for hours at a time. In this case, however, I am happy to stop at three minutes. Because the reason my time is short is that so many people are committed to eradication we can barely all squeeze into the program. Continue reading →