Posted on Feb 07, 2022
Rotary President Liza Leonard’s February 2022 message.

Fellow Rotarians,
February’s Rotary International theme is Peace and Conflict Prevention/Resolution. Ultimately Rotary is a humanitarian organization, and peace is a cornerstone of Rotary’s mission. When you consider all the Rotary areas of focus, you can easily see how each area contributes to the goal of promoting peace around the world.

Promoters of peace are as necessary now as ever. The number of people around the world displaced due to conflict, violence, and persecution continues to climb, now estimated at around 70 million people worldwide. As Rotarians we must refuse to accept conflict as a way of life.

Most of us joined Rotary because we want to be a part of making the world a better place. So how can members of the Idaho Falls Rotary Club meaningfully promote peace and prevent conflict? Let me offer some ideas on what we are currently doing, and areas where we could set our sights to make a greater impact -

  *   Through our Club Programs, we have the chance to educate club members on issues in our community and around the world. An adherence to our speaker guidelines and the Four-Way test will help ensure our programs align with our values as a club and promote good will and better friendships among members.
  *   With our Youth Exchange Program, we are connecting our community to others around the world and helping tomorrow’s leaders learn more about other ways of life.
  *   Our new International Service committee is exploring ways we can help enhance existing projects that promote peace through service.
  *   We can also encourage peace here in our own community by being ambassadors of peace to our neighbors and business associates, but also by offering solutions to some of the pressing community problems of the day.

Beyond our club, Rotarians around the world are actively focused on preventing conflict through peace. Here are the four main roles Rotarians play in promoting peace:

  1.  Practitioners: Work in fighting disease, providing clean water and sanitation, supporting health of mothers and children, promoting education, growing local economies all help communities become more peaceful.
  2.  Educators: Rotary Peace Centers have trained over 1300 peace fellows to become catalysts for peace through careers in government, education, and in leading international organizations.
  3.   Mediators: Rotarians have provided mediation in areas of conflict that have helped lead to more at risk children to be vaccinated.
  4.  Advocated: Rotarians are focused on creating communities and relationships that are connected, inclusive, and resilient.

I’m so proud of what we can accomplish when we work as a team. Together, we can create a better world.