Celebrate our Global Peace Community

February is Peace Month. We are celebrating you, our Global Peacebuilder community.

February 19, 2021



Dear Peacebuilders,

“Friendship was the foundation rock on which Rotary was built and tolerance is the element which holds it together.” Paul Harris – 1948.

Rotary grew from friendship. This month, 116 years ago, four friends came together and founded the first Rotary Club to promote goodwill, understanding and peace. Paul Harris, Gustavus Loehr, Silvester Schiele, and Hiram Shorey, were the founding friends who understood that serving humanity is only possible when we are friends first and foremost.

Why is friendship essential to Rotary’s mission? True friendship allows us to see one another for who we are, and allows us to see our humanity before race, nationality, religion, gender, age, creed, or political affiliation. When the world judges us, our friends see us for who we are. We can be easily labeled and stereotyped in this world, but in Rotary we know each other as friends. This friendship allows us the space for understanding, connecting, communicating, and collaborating about what truly matters, our humanity.


Rotary’s growth to over 35,000 clubs and 1.2 million friends around the world is a testimony to the quality of our foundation of friendship. It is a miracle that we have friendships that span across 159 nations over the past 116 years. Rotarian friends did not only build strong friendships, but they channeled their energy, values, and actions to Serving to Change Lives around the world in exceptional ways. Our true friendship empowered and saved millions of lives despite world wars, political conflicts, natural disasters, and deadly pandemics. Our global friendship led us to advocate for and sign the Universal Declaration for Human Rights. Together, we are “this close” to eradicating polio.

It is no coincidence that in February, Rotarians celebrate both Rotary’s Peace and Conflict Prevention/Resolution Month as well as Rotary’s Birthday. Paul Harris knew that friendship is the basis for service and peace. This month the Rotary Foundation announced that Rotary will be establishing the 8th Rotary Peace Center in the Middle East. This amazing news adds to our Rotary celebrations this month. The decision to establish another Rotary Peace Center in the Middle East is a key to expanding our global friendships. This peace center is also vital to connecting with people in the region while providing exposure and access to peaceful solutions, education, and connections in a place that is often isolated and ignored. Rotary’s friendships are the magic behind such peace initiatives.

Rotary’s friendship is based on trustworthiness, kindness, honesty, tolerance, and helpfulness. When we cultivate a community of friendship, our intentions and actions become aligned and help us bridge understanding, goodwill, and peace. In Rotary, our focus is on elevating one another. We do not welcome negative gossip, dividing rhetoric, disrespect, discrimination, racism, bullying, nor harassment. Rather, we celebrate those who “Serve above Self”: ethical humanitarians with inspiring stories, who are inclusive, supportive, and champion those less fortunate.

To continue to strengthen our Rotary friendships we need to take Action for Peace:

  1. Support Rotary Peace Centers and Rotary Peace Fellows representing more than 115 countries.

  2. Expand the RAGFP Peacebuilder Clubs global network currently representing 28 nations.

  3. Join Rotary Action Group for Peace and engage peacebuilders outside of Rotary.

  4. Start and collaborate on local, regional, and global peace initiatives.

  5. Invite friends to Rotary events and encourage them to join Rotary.

When we celebrate Rotary’s 116th Birthday, we celebrate the resilience of Rotarian friendships that have withstood the test of time. Our friendship is a precious legacy to world peace.  


Take Action for Peace,

Reem Ghunaim 

Executive Director 


Celebrate our Global Peace Community


There’s no coincidence that Rotary’s birthday falls on the Rotary Month of Peace & Conflict Prevention/Resolution. Peace is at the center of Rotary’s humanitarian mission of service. To celebrate this momentous month, we are highlighting the ways that Rotary and the RAGFP are making bounds for positive peace action around the world and how you can get involved to Wage Peace.

Here at the RAGFP we Wage Peace through the Three E’s: Engage, Educate, and Empower.  Our model creates and supports peace initiatives and programs that engages peacebuilders, educates the masses on peace education, and empowers communities to build peaceful systems. 

In this month’s newsletter, we are highlighting some of the various ways you and your club can EngageEducate, and Empower your communities to Wage Peace with Rotary and the RAGFP. 



Peace only happens when we work together. Learn how to use the RAGFP hub of global peacebuilders and connect with like-minded community leaders to make a lasting impact for peace.

Celebrate Rotarian Peacebuilders

In honor of Rotary’s Birthday and Rotary’s Month of Peace and Conflict Resolution, we are celebrating our community of Peacebuilders! You are the ones who make peace action possible. 

All month long, we want you to encourage friends and neighbors to become involved in our peace work by participating in our 2021 Membership Drive. There’s still a chance to build peace during Rotary’s month of Peace.

Build the community of Peacebuilders by becoming a Member of the RAGFP, then invite a neighbor. Together we can cultivate a culture of Peace around the world. 

Get Involved. Grow a Peace Community

Peace requires all of our participation. Continue the momentum for peace by inviting friends, family, and colleagues to get involved with RAGFP. Spread the Gift of Peace by gifting a RAGFP membership to a peacebuilder to our community. Witness the chain reaction of kindness and peace spread through your community with a Gift membership. With your gift, you have the power to grow our peace community.

If you’re not a member, take action and join our global network today.


Become a Member, Invite a Neighbor. Give Peace.

Spread Peace with a Gift Membership

Party for Peace with the RAGFP

Next Tuesday, February 23, for Rotary’s 116th Anniversary, RAGFP is hosting a Virtual Open House. As a part of Peace Month and our Membership Drive, join our Virtual Open House to engage with the RAGFP peacebuilding community. Celebrate Peace and Rotary’s Birthday by attending and inviting a new peacebuilder to join the festivities. 

Throughout the day, the RAGFP team will be available to engage and educate members and friends about our shared peace efforts and how RAGFP can support your peace work through membership. 

Stop by our Virtual Open House to connect and learn from Rotractors, Peace Fellows, Rotarians, and Peacebuilders. All are welcome to join.  


Party for Peace at the RAGFP’s Virtual Open House

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2021

9:00 – 5:00 pm PST

Click Here to Attend


Peacebuilder Clubs Engage Communities


Join the RAGFP’s Global Network of Peacebuilders

The Peacebuilder Club is a Rotary club with an intentional focus on peace where peacebuilding is at the forefront of its agenda. The peacebuilder club’s work continually focuses on advancing Rotary International’s Peace and Conflict Prevention/Resolution area of focus through its decisions, actions, and projects. Each Peacebuilder Club has access to resources and tools provided by the RAGFP to engage, educate, and empower their communities for peace action. 

Since its launch in 2018, the RAGFP Peacebuilder Club has grown from 28 original clubs in District 5100, to over 260 Clubs in 28 nations. With more than 35,000 Rotary Clubs around the world, imagine Rotary’s global impact on Peace if each club became a Peacebuilder Club. Add your Club to the RAGFP’s Global Peacebuilder Club network and continue the momentum for community-based peacebuilding. 

How to Become a Peacebuilder Club

Joining the RAGFP’s network of Peacebuilder Clubs is simple. Each RAGFP Peacebuilder Club is given the tools to build peace at the grassroots level. Become a RAGFP Peacebuilder Club by following  the four simple steps below: 

  1. Create a Peace Committee within your club of at least 2 Rotarians or Rotaractors. The committee will represent their Peacebuilder Club to the RAGFP and to other Peacebuilder Clubs around the world. 

  2. Become a Member of the RAGFP. We ask that at least 2 members of the Peace Committee are also members of the RAGFP. Members gain access to the latest RAGFP educational resources, peace news, RAGFP workshops and webinars, as well as have promotional opportunities with the RAGFP audience. 

  3. Submit your RAGFP Peacebuilder Club Application. You can find a simple 1-page application on our website. Fill out the application and submit it to the RAGFP at [email protected]

  4. Start your first Peace Project! There are infinite ways to Wage Peace. As a Peacebuilder Club, the RAGFP will empower you with the knowledge, ideas, networks, and support you need to help advance peace both in your community and around the globe. Read some of our resources below or on our website for inspiration.

For the full list of details, please read the RAGFP’s Peacebuilder Club Standards and the Peace Primer, both available on our website. 

Become a RAGFP Peacebuilder Club

Peacebuilder Club leads Peace Days Festival

The Rotary Club of Winnipeg is a wonderful example of the grassroots action our RAGFP Peacebuilder Clubs are accomplishing to build lasting peace within their communities.

Since 2010, Rotary District 5550 has been facilitating the annual event, Peace Days, a week-long festival created to “promote and inspire understanding, goodwill, and compassion locally, nationally, and internationally.” Peace Days cultivates people from all walks of life to motivate the community to build a culture of peace and compassion. 

The Peace Days event is led by the Rotary Club of Winnipeg’s Peace Committee volunteers. The Peace Committee engages the local community for participants and venues in the city who are dedicated to building a culture of peace, such as the local library, local schools and universities, the Winnipeg Police Service, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, and other local organizations. 

The Peace Committee volunteers, along with other Rotarians, event partners, and local community members, organize several events to engage the community to celebrate peace for an entire week up to International Day of Peace on September 21.

In years past, the Peace Day festival held an annual Peace Walk with over a thousand local school children participating. The goal was to educate the youth on the importance of Peace and inspire them to be future peace leaders. Local Indigenous communities held ceremonies, pow wows, and drumming practices to educate the community of their culture, celebrate diversity, and cultivate mutual understanding between indigenous and non-indigenous Winnipeggers. They also hosted an event with the Canadian Museum for Human Rights to learn from the past and learn to be leaders who stand up against injustice.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Peace Days events were held virtually, featuring talks from Nobel Laureates, webinars on peacebuilding, and a live stream of a socially distant Peace Walk. 

Your Peacebuilder Club can connect and collaborate with the Rotary Club of Winnipeg to expand Peace Days into your community. Learn more about you can take action for Peace and participate in the Peace Days festival on their website.


Hear from Rotarian, RAGFP Member, and Peace Committee volunteer, David Newman, on the impact Peace Days has on educating the community for peace.


EDUCATE for Peace

Peace Education is vital for Peace Action. Learn about the many educational resources Rotary and the RAGFP provide to develop your skills and knowledge to become world-class Peacebuilders.

Rotary Peace Fellowships Accelerate Global Peace Action

About the Rotary Peace Fellowship Program

Every year, Rotary awards up to 130 dedicated leaders from around the globe a full scholarship to study at one of the Seven Rotary Peace Centers. Up to 50 Peace Fellows are accepted for the Master’s Degree programs, and up to 80 can be accepted for the Professional Development Certificate program.  Peace Fellows study at one of the Rotary Peace Centers, which operate in partnership with 7 premier academic institutions: University of Bradford, West Yorkshire, England; Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand; Duke University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; International Christian University, Tokyo, Japan; University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia; and Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.

The Rotary Foundation just announced that the Trustees agreed to establish a new Peace Center in the Middle East with a fully funded gift of over $10 million from Otto & Fran Walter Foundation. The location has not been decided, but the RAGFP is excited to learn about this massive extension in Rotary’s Peace program in the Middle East. 

The selected Rotary Peace Fellows are offered high-quality academic training, professional practice, and global networking opportunities to develop their peace leadership skills to become one of the globe’s top professionals in peace. The fellowship covers all tuition and fees, room and board, round-trip transportation, and all internship or field-study expenses to ensure that the Peace Fellows face the fewest obstacles to fully engage in global peace work. 

Learn more about the eligibility restrictions for the Peace Fellow Masters and Professional Certificate programs on Rotary’s website

The application window for the 2022-2023 Peace Fellowship is now open! Candidates have until May 15th to submit their applications to their district. If you know a peacebuilder in your life looking for the next steps to become a Peace Leader, endorse them as a Rotary Peace Fellow today. 

Support the work of Peace Fellows

Muyi Yang witnessed first-hand the children working in coal mines working for a trading company. Soon after seeing the faces of children covered in coal dust, he decided to quit his job, go back to school, and intern for a public defender’s office. This transition led Muyi to his Rotary Peace Fellowship at the Uppsala University in Sweden. Through the education, training, and connections provided by the Fellowship, Muyi and Peace Fellow, Anne Kjaer Bathel, launched the Champion School for youth in Syria. The students at the Champion school face threats of conflict on a daily basis. Due to the limited electricity in Syria, many of the meetings take place in the middle of the night. Class is often disrupted by the engines of fighter jets flying low over the town, and by the occasional bomb threats in the city that keep students at home.

Despite the hardships, the school helps homeless children stay educated and away from the threats of sexual exploitation, underage sex work, and worker exploitation. Most importantly, the school gives the children hope for a conflict-free future. 

Through the Rotary Peace Fellowship, Muyi was educated and empowered to take action for youth in Syria. In turn, his education sponsored by Rotarians around the world has led him to accelerate Peace to Syria to educate and empower youth. 

You can learn more about Muyi’s story at the RAGFP’s Virtual Open house on Tuesday, February 23rd. Muyi’s interview with RAGFP Executive Director, Reem Ghunaim, how the RAGFP’s resources and workshops helped shaped his peace work at the Rotary Peace Project Incubator where he won first prize.

Peace Fellows are Rotary’s global leaders in Peacebuilding. Reach out and engage with Rotary Peace Fellows by using the RAGFP’s Peace Directory and contact the Rotary Peace Fellowship Alumni Association.

If you are a Peace Fellow who wants to be added to the Directory, email us at [email protected]


Rotary Positive Peace Academy:

the framework for global peacebuilding

Rotary International teamed up with the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) to provide world-class peace education for anyone, anywhere, for free. The Positive Peace Academy introduces the framework of Positive Peace using IEP’s data-driven approach to understanding how Positive Peace is associated with better performance on ecological sustainability, improved wellbeing, stronger GDP growth rates, and better business outcomes. 

Over 10,000 people around the world have taken courses from the Positive Peace Academy. Learn from the top think-tank on Peace to take sustainable, global actions for peace.  Get started today, for free.

Join the Positive Peace Academy


Inter-Country Committees Wage Peace across Borders

In 1950, still suffering the effects of World War II, German and French Rotarians gathered in Strasbourg with one goal: to reconcile relationships between their two nations. Since then Inter-Country Committees (ICCs) have helped Rotarians create a climate of friendship with clubs and districts from different nations and cultures to engage directly in all Rotary activities, including friendship exchanges, cultural and youth events, vocational and service projects, and most importantly, furthering international peace. 

For nearly two decades, the Russia-United States ICC has committed to connecting the two cultures through service. This ICC has provided medical training and donated hospital resources, supported orphanages, and connecting friendships during difficult diplomatic periods. You can connect with the Russia-USA ICC on Facebook.

RAGFP Board Member, David Fishman, is a member of the Russia-United States ICC. Through his professional background as an attorney, David got involved with Russian Rotarians, which eventually connected him to the Rotary Club in Houston. David’s story is a perfect example of how ICCs connect people together and expand the Rotary network to advance peace and goodwill. 

The flexible and simple structure of ICCs gives them power to expand Rotary’s service for mutual understanding, goodwill, and peace at an international scale. Their programs target youth and young people by starting and engaging local Rotaract and new Rotary Clubs. With nearly 400 ICC relationships around the globe, their presence within Rotary is vital to its contributions to world peace. 

The combined forces of the RAGFP, Peacebuilder Clubs, and ICCs can create a catalytic role to advance peace at the grassroots, regional, and international scale. Learn more about how you and your club can get involved with the work of ICCs on Rotary’s website.  



EMPOWER Peacebuilders

Peace requires all of our participation. Empower your community to take effective action for peace by providing the tools, resources, and support they need to thrive and be Peace leaders. 

RYLA Empowers Future Peace Leaders

Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) is an intensive leadership experience organized by Rotary clubs and districts where students develop their leadership skills while having fun and making connections with their peers. 

RYLA events are organized by local Rotary clubs and districts for participants ages 14-30. Depending on the needs of the community, a RYLA event may be a single-day seminar, a three-day retreat, or a weeklong camp experience. Most RYLA events include presentations, teamwork and leadership activities, and workshops covering a variety of topics that are tailored to the youth needs in that particular community. 

By providing a fun, safe, environment for youth to learn and develop confidence in their leadership skills, RYLA is empowering youth to reach their individual potentials. Imagine if each RYLA event utilized the Positive Peace framework to empower youth to be the peace leaders of tomorrow. 

Julia Phelps, a Rotary Foundation Trustee, is a passionate leader in RYLA in her district. Julia’s experience working with youth as both an educator and RYLA event coordinator demonstrated the power of bringing youth together and support them to grow into the leaders they are destined to be. Listen to Julia’s story on her episode of Together for Peace recorded in May. 

Empower the future leaders in Rotary and in Peace by organizing a RYLA event with your Peacebuilder Club for the youth in your community. 


Elevate Peace: Plant and Map Peace Poles 

A Peace Pole is an international symbol of Peace. Peace Poles display the message “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in the language of the country where it has been placed, and usually three to seven additional translations reflective of the community’s diversity. May Peace Prevail On Earth is an inclusive universal message and referred to as an affirmation of peace. Peace Poles are intended to inspire unity among people of all cultures, ethnicities, and backgrounds. 

Peace Poles are used by groups all over the world as reminders of peace. At RAGFP, we recognize Peace Poles as monuments to peace action. Plant a Peace Pole to demonstrate your Club’s commitment to Peace, to celebrate your peacebuilding achievements, and inspire others to do the same. 

Peace Poles are an inspiration to others to take action for Peace. The more we can inspire, the more peace action will follow. Through each added peace action, we are adding to the compounding momentum to peace bringing us closer to our shared vision to Peace on Earth.

Look at the collective Peace Poles the RAGFP’s network has planted. Put peace on the map of your community by mapping your Peace Pole. Each Peace Pole is a marker that demonstrates your commitment to Peace. Mark your Peace Pole with the RAGFP today.

Map your Peace Pole


Share your Peace Stories with the RAGFP

The RAGFP is only as strong as its network of global peacebuilders. Peacebuilding must continue the momentum, and that momentum continues with you, your commitment to peace action, and your powerful peace projects. 

Share your peace projects, peace initiatives, and peace stories with on the RAGFP’s project page. Your stories inspire peacebuilders from around the world to collaborate and take direct action for peace in their communities and beyond. We want to know what you and your Clubs are accomplishing to build sustainable peace in your neighborhood, your city, your district, and for the world. 

Remember, there is no peace action too small. Peace requires all of our participation, so please share, inspire, and empower your peace actions on the RAGFP’s Project page. 

Submit a Peace Project


RAGFP, Rotary, and Peace Event Calendar

February 1-28th

RAGFP Membership Drive

February 1-11th

Rotary International Assembly, Virtual

February 20th

World Day of Social Justice (UN)

February 21

District 2420 Peace Conference II – Bridging the Divide

February 23rd

RAGFP’s Virtual Open House

February 23rd

Rotary International’s Birthday

March 8th 

International Women’s Day (UN)

March 8-14th

World Rotaract Week

March 20th 

International Day of Happiness (UN)

March 21st

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

March 22nd

World Water Day (UN)

April 6th

International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (UN)

April 7th

World Health Day

April 22nd

International Mother Earth Day


Celebrate our Global Peace Community






Join and donate to Rotary Action Group for Peace to help us engage, empower and educate Rotarian peacebuilders around the world. Thank you for your support!

Happy International Day of Peace

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