Rotary District 5100 Peacebuilder Club Program

Project Description

District 5100 is located in Northern Oregon and Southwest Washington states. We became a Peacebuilder District in Jan. 2011 and as an offshoot of that event, some Rotarians in our district asked the question: “Since we are now a Peacebuilder District, can we also have Peacebuilder Clubs?” After researching the concept and idea, we quickly found out that the idea had never been posed at the district, zone or RI levels of our organization. Our RI Director for Zone 25, Ken Boyd, encouraged us to try it out.

Our first course of action was to determine specific criteria for becoming a Peacebuilder Club in District 5100:
Step 1: Form a Peacebuilder Committee.
Step 2: Educate yourselves and your club about peace and peacebuilding initiatives.
Step 3: Educate your community about Rotary’s focus on peace.
Step 4: Involve New Generations.
Step 5: Pick two of the following:
–Integrate peace into a club service project and/or partner with groups outside of Rotary.
–Submit a candidate for a Rotary Peace Fellowship and/or work on recruitment efforts for the district.
–Commit $350 towards district support for Rotary Peace Centers and actively recruit qualified candidates.
–Participate in peace projects with other clubs.
–Become a Rotary Peace Community or Rotary Peace City.

In the first year if this program, the Rotary year 2011-12, our district chartered 12 Peacebuilder Clubs, and we currently have about 8 -10 additional Rotary Clubs considering the application. We also held a Peace Conference the weekend of June 22 –24, 2012 and had Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams as our keynote speaker and had special guests (former) Admiral Eric Olsen and (former) Ambassador John McDonald as well as 8 Rotary Peace Fellows and 4 former Rotary Ambassadorial Scholars who participated in our weekend of presentations and panel discussions. The final (Sunday) session of our conference was dedicated to a workshop led by Ambassador McDonald, with the intent of guiding members of the newly formed Peacebuilder Clubs on how to implement the practice of peacebuilding in our respective communities.

In late 2012 we convened our first quarterly meeting of D5100 Peacebuilder Clubs and we were extremely encouraged by the quantity as well as diversity of peacebuilding programs our Clubs are involved with. Examples include:
–Peer mediation for youth ages 6 – 13 year in a summer camp called Peace Village
–Sponsoring youth for the Cyprus Friendship Program
–Various peace conferences and symposiums being coordinted by local Peacebuilder Committees
–Four cities in our District have been designated Rotary Peace Communities by their respective city governments to become Rotary Peace communities.