With bloody conflicts raging in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and parts of Central Africa, the message of nonviolence and reconciliation that nations worldwide will observe on 21 September demands more urgent and collective attention.
In 2001 the United Nations designated the September date as an annual International Day of World Peace "to be observed as a day of global ceasefire and nonviolence" according to a General Assembly resolution.
The day's devotion to peace connects closely with what Rotary members have been fostering since The Rotary Foundation's mission to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace, was proclaimed in 1917.
Rotary's goal of worldwide peace and tolerance has been an unwavering pursuit: conducting global forums, hosting international peace symposiums, advancing peace through its 60-year collaboration with the UN, as well as grassroots initiatives such as the Rotarian Action Group for Peace.
But Rotary's most significant effort to wage peace is the Rotary Peace Centers program, established in 2002. Each year, the program trains some of the world's most dedicated and brightest professionals, preparing them to promote national and international cooperation and to resolve conflict. They include graduates of a two-year master's degree program and a three-month professional certificate program at Rotary's partner universities.
On 22 August, I had the opportunity to attend a national Rotary Day in Manila celebrating the accomplishments of Rotary Community Corps (RCCs) and other community service partners. The event was held at the Tuloy Foundation’s Don Bosco Streetchildren Village, an amazing nonprofit institution that has provided residential care and vocational training to more than 17,000 disadvantaged youth over the past 20 years. More than 600 Rotarians, RCC officers, and civic leaders came together for the event.
The day included a keynote speech by RI President Gary C.K. Huang, an address from the Vice President of the Philippines, Mr. Jejomar C. Binay, who is a Rotarian, and inspirational remarks from Father Rocky Evangelista, the founder of the Tuloy Foundation. Father Rocky shared the story of the village’s rise from humble beginnings serving twelve children in a small room to its present-day 4.5 hectare (about 5,200 square foot) community serving up to 1,000 children at any given time. A group of the Tuloy children put on a fun song and dance performance displaying the confidence and optimism they’ve gained through the program......
Posted by Sunil K Zachariah on September 19, 2014 at 8:01am
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