Good day to you all, Salem Rotarians!
Rotary designated February as “Peace & Conflict Prevention/Resolution Month.” Rotary’s commitment to the issue of Peace is relevant now as never before given the level of conflicts in so many parts of the world (I would also include the USA on that list, too).
Our club decided a few years ago, under the leadership of Val Keever, to engage in peace building on the island of Cyprus. Supported annually by our club, the Cyprus Friendship Program brings together youths from both sides of that island’s conflict – Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. The goal is to help these young people see that folks on the other side of the fence are just like them. And, hopefully, bring peaceful co-existence to that island. It’s great to hear these young folks present at a club meeting about their perspectives and thoughts as they take part in the CFP. It inspires and provides hope!
Another program on Peace to point out is last week’s meeting where we heard from fellow Salem Rotarian Sandra Burnett. Her comments were so poignant and enriching as we heard about life in and around South Africa during the time of the awful system of Apartheid. I was inspired hearing about the artists, protestors (peaceful in most cases), and leaders in South Africa that successfully defeated that terrible system of oppression. And while Apartheid has ended, we have a ways to go in this country and around the world towards peaceful resolution and better understanding among peoples.
I’ll see you at Rotary!