ROTARY, SERVICE CLUBS, AND PEACE - A NETWORK OF COMMON INTEREST AND SUPPORT WORTH CONSIDERING
 
Dear Peacebuilder and Peace Educators,

Peace organizations are often looking for support, resources and an introduction to the corporate world.  I recommend you consider both Rotary and Lions Clubs.  Essentially they both have "helping to advance peace in our communities and the world" in their missions.  My experience is with Rotary Clubs and so I will share some of that "intelligence":

 
I have a page on my web site with directly relevant Rotary Information at http://www.peace.ca/rotary.htm . 
 
I urge you to read Rotary's Seven Paths to Peace at http://www.peace.ca/rotarysevenpathstopeace.htm - not only is it excellent reading, you will learn one approach to business people for your consideration, and you will learn what Rotary Clubs and Rotarians should be doing to support peacebuilding and peace education in your area. (I suggest that the information is equally relevant to Lions Clubs, but they may have their own guides that I am not aware of; I know Lions has what used to be called the "Lions Quest Program" that was very successful and was a form of peace education.)  Print a copy of this 65 page book, take it to your local Rotary Club or Rotarian and indicate that you would like to work with them to help advance peace as shown in this book.  (Do not be surprised if they know nothing about this book - it has been 'lost' for some years, but is even more relevant today than when it was written in 1959.  They should thank you for bringing this to their attention.)
 
Consider becoming a member of Rotary, Lions or any service club that has a mission to advance peace.  It will automatically put you into a sizable network of people who have a significant sphere of influence (there are 1.2 million Rotarians around the world; Lions is about the same size - can you imagine if they partnered to support peace education throughout the world!!).  You will have the opportunity to help raise the Club's awareness and understanding of peace issues, which would be enough of a benefit alone.  You might also be able to access financial and human (volunteer) support to advance peace programs, within the spirit of (in the case of Rotary) their Object to help advance world peace and understanding.  To become a Member of a Rotary Club, you will need to be sponsored by an existing Member (however, that is usually fairly simple to obtain since Rotary Clubs are always seeking to increase their membership with good quality people - and I suspect Lions is similar).

To locate specific Rotary Clubs, go to the “Where Clubs Meet” section of the Rotary homepage at www.rotary.org/services/clubs/index.html and type in your community.

Below, I have copied an excerpt of "How to Work With Rotary" from the Rotary web site at http://www.rotary.org .  Go to the web site and do a search on "peace", "united nations", etc. and see all the good work they do.  Among other things, Rotary sponsors Peace Scholarships to about 7 key Universities around the world.  You will also be interested to read a letter of cooperation with UNESCO at http://www.rotary.org/newsroom/downloadcenter/pdfs/unesco_letter.pdf

For information about Lions Clubs, go to http://www.lionsclubs.org/

You do have to have patience.  Rotary gets a lot of requests for funding that they must sort through.  Rotary Clubs are also careful not to become embroiled in divisive subjects, and so one must be sensitive when dealing with things like religion and politics (eg. avoid being partisan; be pragmatic - the above book, "Seven Paths to Peace" provides excellent example of how to have these difficult conversations).  As with any new relationships, it is advisable first to "Listen and Learn".
 
I hope you find this of some help, and I would be interested to hear about any successes you have in this respect.

Regards,
Bob Stewart
http://www.peace.ca
ANNUAL PEACE EDUCATION CONFERENCE IN CANADA http://www.peace.ca/CanadianAgenda2004.htm
 
"The world is dangerous not because of those who do harm, but because of those who look at it without doing anything." - Albert Einstein
 
WHAT FUTURE WILL YOU CREATE?
 
Making an Impact: Your gift to the Canadian Peace Education Foundation will do much to reduce the human cost of violence in our communities and world through education about peace and the future in classrooms.  Your gift will have a critical impact on future generations.  You will enable youngsters to widen their sights by exploring alternate paths to transforming conflicts and building a better world.  Gifts of cash, securities, and planned gifts are welcome and may be sent to the Canadian Peace Education Foundation, Box 70, Okotoks, AB, Canada, T1S 1A4.  For more information, visit the website at http://www.peace.ca/foundation.htm

How to Work with Rotary

Effective collaboration with Rotary International (RI) begins at local or regional levels. This approach works because all projects are developed by individual Rotary clubs or districts. Rotary’s only corporate initiative is the PolioPlus program, which focuses on global polio eradication.

Here are some basic tips to establishing relationships with Rotary at local, regional or national, and/or international organizational levels.

AT THE LOCAL LEVEL

All Rotary clubs meet weekly to share information with members and to decide which projects the club plans to initiate or support. Once you have targeted a specific Rotary club, there are several ways to proceed, including:

 Inviting club members to visit a project site or the local office of your organization.

 Offering to give a presentation at a Rotary club meeting.

 Inviting club members to address your organization.

 Providing informational material for club members and/or prepare an article for the club bulletin.

To locate specific Rotary Clubs, go to the “Where Clubs Meet” section of the Rotary homepage at

www.rotary.org/services/clubs/index.html . Alternatively, you may refer to a local Chamber of Commerce or telephone directory for nearby Rotary clubs.

 

AT THE REGIONAL OR NATIONAL LEVEL

To increase regional or national awareness and support for your organization’s initiative, Rotary recommends that you contact one of RI’s 530 district governors. Each district governor, a volunteer officer, oversees the activities of approximately 50 clubs within a specific geographical region.

To assist the district governor, each district supports a variety of committees which focus on particular aspects of Rotary activities, including community service, international exchanges, youth programs, Rotary Foundation grants, etc.

To supplement strategies for facilitating local level collaboration at the district level, you may:

 Arrange a meeting with the district governor (or his or her representative) and members of your

national or field program coordinators.

 Contact the district governor to facilitate introductions between your regional program

coordinators and Rotary district chairpersons for parallel programs.

To find the district governor in your region, refer to the “Where Clubs Meet” of the Rotary International Web site at http://www.rotary.org/services/clubs/index.html . Without a specific District Number, you will need to use the Drill Down Function to identify a particular locale with a district number. If no district number is listed, this area or country may be governed by a district in another country.

If you do not have access to the Internet, please contact Rotary International Headquarters for specific district governor contact information. RI Headquarters contact information is listed below.

 

AT THE INTERNATIONAL LEVEL

Under certain circumstances, RI headquarters may agree to distribute general information about your organization regarding funding, conference information and other significant resources to a global Rotary audience.

For international attention, information should be provided well in advance—sometimes even one year prior to an event or activity. From headquarters, RI will use the following criteria to evaluate which materials will be distributed internationally:

1. RI and the organization must have mutually shared goals.

2. The organization’s program must reflect an existing RI program or emphasis.

3. The organization must be of sound reputation & financial integrity.

4. The information will enhance/ support Rotary service.

5. Relationships must include some potential for public recognition of Rotary’s participation in the activity.

6. RI would not incur any ongoing obligation to the other organization.

Working with Rotary often yields considerable long-term benefits. Rotary International hopes that you will be successful in your outreach to Rotary club members at the local, district and international organizational levels.

 

Note Regarding Annual Changes in Rotary Leadership

Rotary leadership at the club, district, and international levels changes annually on 1 July. If you are seeking support, Rotary recommends that you begin communicating with clubs and districts early in the “Rotary year,” e.g. July or August, before major project commitments have already been determined.

More information is available at www.rotary.org

or from the RI External Relations team at

Rotary International

1560 Sherman Ave.

Evanston, IL 60201, USA

Phone: (1-847) 866-3408/3387

Fax: (1-847) 866-8237

E-mail: ers@rotaryintl.org