A Message from District 7670 Governor Gary Dills
February’ s worldwide Rotary theme is Peace and Conflict Resolution, which is in keeping with the Rotary objective to advance “international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service." Of course, this is or should be the goal of all mankind. How do we as Rotarians move humanity toward a more peaceful world?
One way is through our Peace Scholars. In the last ten years, these Centers (including the one at Duke University) have educated more than 900 scholars who go on to serve in local governments, non-profits, the military, law enforcement, and various international organizations.
Rotary Clubs around the world contribute to the ‘peace’ effort by supporting such things as Youth Exchange students here and abroad, Group Study Exchanges, international humanitarian projects, and our global scholar program. The bedrock of these projects is the promotion of international understanding thorough the association of people. The more we work and live together, the more likely we are to understand and perhaps appreciate the situation of others who live in different societies.
What can you do? One thing is to recruit, support and host outbound and inbound Youth Exchange Students. Encourage your family to step up and host one of these students. Also, look for local students who could benefit from an exchange and represent Rotary in a positive manner. This can be a fulfilling experience and provides those students an opportunity of a lifetime.
Similarly, encourage young adult leaders in your community to pursue a global scholarship through Rotary. District 7670 (Ted Carothers and others) has done a great job with this program making a difference in the lives of these students and in the lives of people in our local communities hosting these students.
You can also support and participate in international humanitarian programs. Currently PDG Billi is working a global grant to provide clean water to a community in Kenya; PDG Frank has lead efforts to establish toilets for women in India and provide wheelchairs around the world. There are many other examples. Get your club involved in an international project. These projects concretely demonstrate the kindness and generosity of Rotarians and our commitment to peace and understanding among the peoples of the world.
Bottom line: Serve humanity by participating in one of the many Rotary efforts locally and around the world which promote peace and understanding!!