A WORLD MORE PEACEFUL
“I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its
brutality, its futility, its stupidity….I like to believe people, in the long run, are going to do more to promote peace than their governments.”
A WORLD MORE PROSPEROUS
“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed….” “To remain secure and prosperous themselves, wealthy nations must extend the kind of cooperation to the less fortunate members that will inspire hope, confidence, and progress.”
A WORLD MORE JUST
”We are profoundly aware that, in the world, we can claim the trust of hundreds of millions of people…only as we ourselves hold high the banner of justice for all.” – President Dwight D. Eisenhower
This is the impact that the Eisenhower Fellows want to achieve from the mind of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. These actually require actions to promote the 8 Pillars of Peace. The same impact that Rotary’s areas of focus want to achieve. Asan Eisenhower Fellow, a Rotarian and a District Governor,and a citizen of Zamboanga City, Philippines, ingrained in my daily life are the conviction, the drive, and the inspiration to participate in any aspect of the peacebuilding process. This is both a blessing and a responsibility to be shared with everyone. My favorite quote on peace is what Mother Teresa said, “Peace begins with a Smile”.
In Rotary, February is peacebuilding and conflict resolution month. As written in the Rotary Website, “Peace is much more than the absence of violence”. Nowadays, we have a Rotary Positive Peace Academy that introduces the concept of Positive Peace, which describes the attitudes, structures, and institutions that underpin and sustain peaceful societies. Rotary’s partner is the Institute of Economic and Peace (IEP) and it has developed a conceptual framework, known as the Pillars of Peace. These “petals”, as I fondly call them, outline a system of eight factors that work together to build positive peace.
I am so grateful to the clubs that have conducted peacebuilding projects. One club conducted free legal aid in collaboration with the IBP. Another Club provided internet boosters in far-flung areas to facilitate the speedy and free flow of information and enable fast response to security and health issues. One club has created a program to support sports as a peacebuilding tool. A rotary club has an RCC that grows seedlings and plants cacao trees to give a sustainable livelihood to people in an area where there is conflict. Water projects, funded by grants, have been undertaken by many clubs and I am so proud of them. Water is blue gold and is now a source of conflict in many areas around the world. Water security is the way to maintain peace. As areas of focus are intertwined with peace, there are hundreds of ways we can build peace and I am encouraging each club to undertake at least one activity with peace in mind.
This February I was also very fortunate to have the privilege to travel with my spouse Mary Ann and visit all 14 clubs Negros – Zone 5, 6 and 7. Our first flight out of Zamboanga since March 2020. The 6-day visit was marked with club visits, fellowship of Council of Presidents, RCC Project inauguration, bamboo planting, 55 units of Rotary Wheelchairs distribution, and other activities. It also gave me the opportunity to invite Rotarians to attend our District Conference in Zamboanga City on April 22 to 23, 2022, with the theme – Visita Ortra Vez Zamboanga.
In all my club visits, I also took time to update the members regarding The Rotary Foundation. I wish to congratulate our district because as of February 28, 2022, our Total Giving to The Rotary Foundation stands at USD 222,599.00, our new district record. Thank you fellow Rotarians for your support and generosity. I will continue to campaign for support and contribution to The Rotary Foundation because I know every dollar we donate gives “help and hope” to the community we serve.
I will always smile when I remember Negros and Bacolod, the City of Smiles, because of the beautiful smiles Mary Ann and I encountered throughout this trip, and most special, I have seen the passion and commitment of Rotarians in action to serve and change lives.