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Rotary International President Elect Gary Huang Addresses RFPD Membership at Annual General Meeting in Lisbon2232 days ago
RFPD and MCH Area of Focus - VTT2232 days ago
2013 Nafis Sadik Award for Courage 2232 days ago
A Letter From Our Chairperson2232 days ago
Rotary Project In Nigeria is a MASTERPIECE2232 days ago
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RFPD Contributes to Peace
Category: Population | By RFPD, 12-Dec-2012 | Viewed 3429  Comments 0
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From left: RFPD Vice-Chair, Ingar Brueeggemann, President RC Boji – Boji Urban D9140 Nigeria, Deputy Country Chair Germany Paul Werner von der Schulenburg, RFPD CEO, Robert Zinser photograph by Christoph von Luttitz
RFPD Contributes to Peace

by Robert Zinser

Many RFPD members attended the Rotary Peace Forum in Berlin Nov 30-Dec 2, 2012. More than 1,800 gathered in Berlin to promote peace during this first of three Rotary Global Peace Forums. The group includes Rotarians, Rotaractors, Youth Exchange Students, students and alumni of the Rotary Peace Centers, spouses and guests from 46 countries.  The other two Peace Forums will be held in 2013 in Honolulu, Hawaii, Jan 25-27, and in Hiroshima, Japan, May 17-18.

The attendees adopted the Berlin Declaration of Peace, calling for "Peace Without Borders" and recognizing that "all human beings have the right to live in a state of peace, free from violence, persecution, inequality, and suffering." It concludes that "Peace is not a final destination to be reached, but an active and continuous process. All of us are capable of becoming peacemakers in our own lives. Through our words and actions, we demonstrate that peace is possible." Our RIP Tanaka emphasized, "Working for peace is a lifelong task. Every day, in 34,000 clubs around the world, we work together for a more peaceful world by bringing water, health, education, and hope to the people who need it most."

Wilfrid J. Wilkinson, Chair of The Rotary Foundation, noted that building peace in the world is one of the main elements of the Foundation's mission. RI General Secretary John Hewko explained how Rotary's humanitarian service, even when it is not explicitly labeled as 'peace-building', creates communities and societies that are calmer, more prosperous, and less violent.

More than 100 peace projects were on display at the Forum's Marketplace. One of them was the model to reduce maternal and newborn mortality that was developed within the Maternal Health Project in northern Nigeria, initiated, sponsored  and supported by RFPD. Preparations have already started to replicate this model in Ondo State and FCT Abuja, Nigeria, with further scaling ups in other states and countries to come.

At the RFPD booth and its busy discussion table, we informed participants of the Peace Forum about the area of focus 'Maternal and Child Health', current projects and project opportunities. Many brochures and handouts were distributed and our posters informed participants how RFPD contributes to peace. See our Peace Forum brochure and posters on our websites www.rifpd.org and www.maternal-health.org.

A common element of all 'Maternal and Child Health' projects is empowerment of women. In our discussions in the Peace Forum, we stated, "Without empowerment of women, there will be no peace." None of our many visitors, among them Rotarian leaders, questioned this for a second and all of them encouraged RFPD to continue our work. With the global start of the Future Vision Plan next year, RFPD will follow up and build upon its role as a Rotary resource further promoting 'Maternal and Child Health' as a crucial area of focus contributing to peace.
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