February is Peace and Conflict Resolution Month

Greetings!  Our Rotary Friendship Exchange Teams are back from India.  It was a marvelous journey – 11 of us in southwest India (Kerala), and 11 of us in southeast India (Tamil Nadu).  We met wonderful people, observed amazing Rotary projects, ate wonderful food, and made many new friends.  It was also an eye-opening experience.
 
Welcome back to other Teams of Rotarians who have returned from January service trips.  Rotarians have returned from Wacuco, Panama, where they worked with Father Wally.  Rotarians have also returned from the Medical Resource Partnership trip to Santa Rosa, Guatemala.  Other Rotarians continue their work in Haiti on water projects and their Vision project.  Thank you all for your service. 
 
We are gearing up for TriCon 2018 Wisconsin – our Rotary District Conference – May 4 thru 6 in Wisconsin Dells.  Register today at https://tricon2018.eventgrid.com/ .  If you have a noteworthy club service project – register to share it with an exhibit in the House of Friendship. 
 
Trees - don’t forget about them.  It is winter in Wisconsin now, but spring will be arriving soon… time for planting trees to support the environment.  In India, I visited a site where a club planted 1,500 trees.  Some clubs have already planted many trees.  If you have questions, contact our District Tree Project coordinator Brian Monroe (Mequon Thiensville Sunrise Rotary), or contact your Urban Forester at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.  Our goal is a minimum of 1 tree planted for every District 6270 Rotarian.  Plant trees
 
We continue our End Polio Now journey - the book on polio eradication has been closed for 2017.  A total of 22 new cases were reported in 2017 – 8 in Pakistan, and 14 in Afghanistan, with no new cases in Nigeria.  This is a reduction from 37 cases in 2016, and 74 cases in 2015. 
 
Next year’s Club officers are beginning to prepare with PETS Orientation on Feb. 3 in West Bend, and PETS on March 2 thru 4 in Itasca, IL.  Congratulation to all of our President-Elects. 
 
February is Peace and Conflict Resolution Month
Why does Rotary place emphasis on peace and conflict resolution?
·         Violence and conflict are major challenges to daily life in many areas.  Millions of people are confronted with violence and conflict each year.  Of those killed in conflict, most are civilians and half are children.
·         Rotary does not accept this as a normal state.  Rotary provides training to address conflict by building understanding and providing the skills to resolve conflicts.
·         Rotarians are people of action who address the causes of conflict including factors such as poverty, lack of access to education, discrimination, unequal resource distribution.  We do this through service projects, peace fellowships, and scholarships. 
·         Many Rotarians will remember the 2012-13 Theme of RI President Sakuji Tanaka was “Peace Through Service.”  Tanaka held peace forums in Berlin, Honolulu and Hiroshima.  Districts around the world (e.g., Derry-Londonderry and Vancouver) also held peace forums. 
·         There is a Rotarian Action Group for Peace (RAGP) working together for the purpose of advancing world peace and preventing wars.  More information is available at:  https://www.rotarianactiongroupforpeace.org/
 
What do you know about Rotary’s six Peace Centers around the world? 
·         They are located at Chulalongkorn University, Duke University / University of North Carolina, International Christian University, University of Bradford, University of Queensland, and Uppsala University.
·         The mission of the Rotary Peace Centers is to promote world peace by educating and empowering peacebuilders through rigorous academic training, applied field experience, and global networking opportunities.  https://my.rotary.org/en/document/rotary-peace-centers-program-guide-rotarians
·         Each year, up to 100 people are selected to participate in programs at Rotary Peace Centers.
·         Since 2002-03, 1,177 fellows from more than 120 countries have participated in programs of the Peace Centers.
 
What about Peace Fellowships?
·         The 2019 Rotary Peace Fellowship Application is available.
·         Look for Peace Fellowship information on the www.rotary.org website.
·         Check the D6270 website at https://portal.clubrunner.ca/50114/SitePage/scholarships
·         Applications are due by 31 May. 
·         To apply, contact Rotary District 6270 Scholarship Chair, Karen Plunkett 414-403-4878 or  scholarshipchair@rotary6270.org
                                            
How much do you know about Presidential Peacebuilding Conferences?
·         RI President Ian Riseley will be conducting Peacebuilding Conferences in Vancouver, BC, Feb. 10; Beiruit, LE, Feb. 17; Coventry, UK, Feb. 24; Sydney, AU, March 18; Taranto, IT, Apr. 28; and Chicago, IL, June 2.  https://my.rotary.org/en/news-media/office-president/presidential-conferences
·         Each conference has a specific theme linking a focus of Rotary’s efforts to Rotary’s efforts on Peace and Conflict Resolution – e.g., the Sydney conference will address “Economic and Community Development and Peace.”
 
Jeff Reed
District Governor
Rotary International District 6270