Rotary Service Opportunities Program: International Understanding and Goodwill

An overview
In 2005, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute reported that 19 major armed conflicts were ongoing in the world and that the annual cost of these and other smaller conflicts had exceeded US$1 trillion dollars worldwide. The financial burden, however, can’t compare with the human costs of conflict. The United Nations Development Programme estimates that between 1990 and 2005 more than three million people lost their lives because of armed conflict. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reports that conflict has displaced as many as nine million people worldwide. For many developing countries, armed conflict adds to already fragile social and economic conditions. Since 1990, 9 of the world’s 10 least-developed countries have experienced conflict.

Rotary’s approach
Rotary has long recognized that world peace depends on greater international understanding and goodwill. Too often, conflicts are caused by cultural misunderstandings that could have been prevented through the exchange of ideas among individuals dedicated to peace. With over 1.2 million Rotarians living in more than 32,000 communities around the world, Rotary is in a unique position to promote greater international understanding and goodwill. Many clubs choose to promote peace through projects that Engage people of different cultures, religions, races, income levels, and nationalities in activities that promote mutual understanding, respect, and goodwill Improve community and economic development Celebrate World Understanding and Peace Day (Rotary’s anniversary) on 23 February Encourage members to join or form an inter-country committee.

Take action
Consider how armed conflict affects your community. Learn what resources are available in your community to learn about people from different cultures. Get involved in Rotary programs like World Community Service, Rotary Friendship Exchange, and Rotary Youth Exchange. Send club members to Rotary’s largest annual international meeting, the RI Convention. Participate in the Educational Programs of The Rotary Foundation, including Ambassadorial Scholarships, Group Study Exchange, Rotary Centers for International Studies in peace and conflict resolution, and the Rotary Peace and Conflict Studies program. Develop ways to increase international cultural exchanges in your community. Involve club members in international service projects.

How can Oberon Rotary be involved in the International Understanding and Goodwill Program?
International Understanding and Goodwill encourages Rotary clubs, in both their local communities and communities abroad, to promote peace and goodwill through club-to-club contacts, international service projects, peace programs, and cultural and educational exchanges.
Some Suggestions:

  • Continued support of our involvement in Vanuatu;
  • Establish a ‘sister club’ relationship with our sister town in Turkey;
  • continued support of GSE, continued support of MUNA,
  • humanitarian grants;
  • Most Australian clubs participated in an international RYLA event at Anzac Cove in 2005;
  • Anything else the club could do???
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About Oberon Rotary

Rotary Club of Oberon Meetings Thursday 7pm
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