...it can only be achieved by understanding. - Albert Einstein
Each month Rotary International has a theme and this month it is Peace and Conflict Resolution and Prevention. Statistics show that conflict and violence displace millions of people each year. Half of those killed in conflict are children and 90% are civilians.
It is Rotary’s desire that everyone can live in peace, and whilst this may seem like a huge wish, throughout the world Rotary Clubs are undertaking projects that foster understanding and that provide communities with skills to resolve conflicts.
Conflict does not necessarily have to mean wars and battles on a global scale. Although, there are a number of Rotary projects throughout the world which help refugees from conflicted countries rebuild their lives and Rotary supports peacebuilding in communities and regions affected by conflict.
Conflict can occur on a much smaller scale and be much closer to home. Issues such as bullying and domestic violence are problems that are being tackled by Rotary Clubs in both Australia and overseas. An example of a campaign against bullying is one that is being run by Rotaract Clubs throughout the Philippines. Members visit schools and teach children how to handle conflict peacefully from an early age.
The Rotary Club of Maryborough in Victoria is changing attitudes about domestic violence and generating positive community response with its SAFE (Support, Advice, Facilitation and Early Intervention) program. This is a multi-faceted program which started as a social media campaign but has grown to include community education programs, publicity events and involvement from a number of the local sporting groups.
The ‘Men’s Behaviour Change Program’ initiated by the Rotary Club of Brighton is an online program for perpetrators of domestic violence and this has had clients from throughout Victoria.
I am pleased that Diamond Creek Rotary has donated to this program in the past, as well as providing funding for a program against Domestic Violence which was run at Diamond Valley College. If just one person is able to live their lives more peacefully, then our contribution is making a difference.