Retreating to advance peace

Participants in the Peace Fellows Retreat represented nine nationalities who had worked in more than 100 countries.

By Mayer Ngomesia, 2006-07 Rotary Peace Fellow, Duke University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA

After a two-hour drive from the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu along a winding road, 10 Rotary Peace Fellows and I from around the world gathered in the village of Nagarkot, nestled in the Kathmandu Valley at the foothills of the Himalayas for the third Rotary Peace Fellow Leadership Retreat. It was a rare opportunity to step back and reflect on the difficult realities and high-stress environment of our peace work, and to ponder, why the work we do matters. Continue reading

Rediscovering traditional justice in Africa

George Chacha

By George Chacha, 2013 Rotary Peace Fellow at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

Before Europeans colonized much of Africa, local villagers had their own way of resolving conflicts through traditional justice systems. The community would select a certain number of elders, who they felt most suitable for deciding cases, to handle disputes. A distinctive characteristic of these traditional justice systems is that they primarily sought to heal relations between victims and offenders, in contrast to English Common Law, which by and large seeks to punish offenders as a deterrent to further offenses. Continue reading

Teaspoons of peace that will last a lifetime

With peace makers from around the world at the International Institute on Peace Education conference in Innsbruck, Austria

By d’Arcy Lunn, 2016-18 Rotary Peace Fellow, International Christian University, Tokyo

Take visiting 15 countries over five months, then add in any number of training events, an internship, research, attending conferences and events, and meeting two Nobel Peace Laureates, and you get an amazing formula for gaining skills in peace building. The final and most important result of this equation, though, will be what I eventually do with it all. I have some ideas about that. Continue reading

Celebrating Positive Peace

The Positive Peace rally in New York City on the International Day of Peace. Photo by KseniyaPhotography

By Ana Cutter Patel, Executive Director, Outward Bound Peacebuilding, and a 2016 Rotary Peace Fellow at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

Peace can be described as positive or negative. Negative peace refers to the absence of violence. Positive peace describes the attitudes, institutions and structures that, when strengthened, can lead to a more peaceful society. The Positive Peace framework developed by Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) identifies eight factors that create peaceful societies. They are: Continue reading

Building peace in Colombia

Ana Laura Zavala Guillen leads a discussion at the University of Sheffield.

By Ana Laura Zavala Guillen, 2011-13 Rotary Peace Fellow at the University of Bradford

Over the last three years, as a doctoral researcher, I have been studying the loss of territory by San Basilio del Palenque, a town located in the Colombian Caribbean, due to the armed conflict, business developments, state demarcations and the war on drugs. San Basilio is considered the last Colombian Palenque, communities built by runaway slaves during the 17th century as shelters. Continue reading

Unforgettable memories made in Atlanta

Hairyung Sung (front row, second from left) with alumni from the Rotary Peace Center at Duke University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA.

By Hairyung Sung, Rotary Peace Fellow 2013-15 at Duke University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA

This June, I attended the Rotary International Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, as a Peace Fellow alumnus, and was also able to take part in both the Peace Assembly and the Presidential Peace Conference. On 8 June, some 90 current and former Peace Fellows from around the world came together for an open discussion entitled “Stories Sustain Peace,” and reflected on the day’s experiences. All of us were in absolute agreement that resolving conflict and promoting peace were long-term endeavors, and we encouraged each other to take whatever action we could. Continue reading