Posted by Beth Selby, District 7070 Governor , 2019-20

February is Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention Month

Dear fellow Rotarians, 

For those of you who attended the 2019 District Conference, you know that peacebuilding and conflict prevention were the focus of our keynote speakers on Saturday.  Canadian journalist Amanda Lindhout spoke about her abduction and captivity as a hostage in Somalia for 460 days.  She talked about her survival based on strategy, fortitude and hope in the face of unimaginable adversity.  If you have not read her book, A House in the Sky, I highly recommend it.....  

Canadian Major-General Sean Friday and Danish Brigadier-General Henrik Larsen spoke about the Military’s Role in Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention.  Major-General Friday is currently Vice-Director of Logistics and Engineering at United States Central Command.  He is part of the executive leadership team directing U.S. and international coalition logistics and engineering efforts throughout 20 Middle East, African and South Asian countries promoting cooperation among the nations, responding to crises, and deterring trans-regional aggression.  Brigadier-General Henrik Larsen is Chairman of the Coalition, Head of the Danish Liaison Element to the United States Central Command.  He has held multiple senior and Command positions directly supporting reconciliation efforts of partner nations.  His leadership and coordination efforts on behalf of Denmark have contributed directly to international coalition efforts addressing destabilization issues in the Middle East region and around the world.  At the conclusion of their presentation, they answered questions from conference attendees and could have answered many more had we had more time.  Over the Saturday VIP lunch, it was fascinating to listen to Amand Lindhout, Major-General Friday and Brigadier-General Larsen talk about the need for world-wide peacebuilding and conflict prevention.  They answered our questions with honesty and hope.

Through global grant activities, clubs and districts can participate in strategically focused, high-impact activities that align with Rotary goals that address this area of focus including to train leaders including potential youth leaders to prevent and mediate conflict, support peacebuilding in communities and regions affected by conflict, and support studies related to peace and conflict prevention/resolution for career-minded professionals.  If you and your club members are considering pursuing a global grant, this area of focus is worthy of consideration.

Yours in Rotary,


Beth Selby, District Governor 2019-20