Posted by Pete Leenhouts on Dec 09, 2018

Rotary is dedicated to six areas of focus to build international relationships, improve lives, and create a better world to support our peace efforts and end polio forever. Chief among these causes is our promotion of peace.

Conflict and violence displaced more than 68 million people in the past year, half of whom are children.


We refuse to accept conflict as a way of life. Rotarians are focused on taking action to work towards resolution of these problems. Rotary projects provide training that fosters understanding and provides communities with the skills to resolve conflicts, encourages conversations to foster understanding within and across cultures, and trains adults and young leaders to prevent and mediate conflict and help refugees who have fled dangerous areas.


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 initiating and supporting grassroots initiatives such as the Rotarian Action Group for Peace.


Through our service projects, peace fellowships, and scholarships, our members are taking action to address the underlying causes of conflict, including poverty, inequality, ethnic tension, lack of access to education, and unequal distribution of resources.


Here are some examples.

  • The Rotary Peace Centers program is Rotary's most significant effort to wage peace.  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. Today, more than 1,000 trained and educated Peace Fellows are applying their expertise in various fields. For more information on the Peace Fellowships we offer each year, check out the Peace Fellowships page at or contact the Club via our website for more information.

  • Promoting positive peace. Rotary has partnered with the Institute for Economics and Peace, an independent think tank and leader in the study of peace and conflict, to help address the root causes of conflict and create conditions that foster peace. The Institute is dedicated to measuring and reporting on the economic value of peace. It offers educational and community-based programs to increase stability in communities, and partners with Rotary International to do so.   

  • Rotary clubs around the world develop and engage in hands-on projects to reduce violence and create the conditions for peace. For example:

  • Protecting domestic violence survivors and their families. The U.S. state of Louisiana has the fourth highest incidence of death caused by domestic violence. Local Rotary members met this issue by helping a shelter provide food, clothing, legal advocacy, and counseling to over 500 women in one year.

  • Raising awareness of bullying. Rotary clubs in the Philippines conduct anti-bullying campaigns in schools to teach children how to handle conflict peacefully from an early age.

  • Improving quality of life. Rotary members founded the People for People Foundation, which has helped 10,000 families afford food, clothing, rent, utilities, medications, and other necessities.

  • The Rotary Club of East Jefferson County helps to support Dove House in Port Townsend, which provides services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and general crimes, and operates a temporary emergency shelter for victims fleeing domestic violence, as well as a transitional housing program for women and families transitioning into independence.


All of these programs involve Rotarians and partners taking action to promote the cause of peace, a difficult and extremely challenging pursuit when it seems the headlines are all about war, conflict and displacements. It is trite to say that “in an interconnected world, conflict touches us all”, yet the statement is true, nonetheless. Rotarians persist in this cause, for only peaceful pursuits will allow us all to reach our full potential. For more, see   





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