Rotary clubs have long embraced the call for peace at the grassroots level by addressing the underlying causes of conflict and violence, such as hunger, poverty, disease and illiteracy. Ten years ago, the international humanitarian organization of volunteer service clubs decided to take a direct approach to world understanding by providing future leaders with the tools they need to "wage peace" on the global stage.
Since 2002, Rotary clubs, each year sponsor up to 60 scholars who embark on one to two years of study to earn master's-level degrees in peace and conflict resolution at Rotary Centers for International Studies at leading universities in England, Japan, Australia, Sweden, and the United States.
- Uppsala University, Sweden
- University of Bradford, UK
- University of Queensland, Australia
- International Christian University, Japan
- Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA
Established in 2004, the Rotary Peace Center at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand offers a three-month professional development certificate in peace and conflict studies each year for up to 50 mid-level professionals from related fields, such as public health, education, international law, economic development, journalism, and social justice.
Rotary Peace Center alumna Cherine Badawi, who attended the International Christian University center in Tokyo, is now a coordinator of curriculum and training for Generation Waking Up, an international youth leadership and empowerment NGO based in San Francisco. She says that Rotary Peace Centers powerfully legitimize and support what she considers to be the most important work of our time: cultivating peace on our planet. "Peace is so much more than the absence of war," Badawi adds. "It is the presence of thriving and just communities that value human security and dignity, environmental sustainability and the rights of present and future generations to get their needs met regardless of social identity."Applications for the 2014-15 class of Rotary's Peace Center program will be available in January 2013, and are due by 1 July 2013. Rotary is a global humanitarian organization with more than 1.2 million members in 34,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Rotary members are men and women who are business, professional and community leaders with a shared commitment to make the world a better place through humanitarian service. To access broadcast quality video footage and still photos go to: Media Center. SOURCE Rotary International