Rotary scholarships provide foundation for building peace
Humanitarian service organization to name the next class of Peace Fellows in October
EVANSTON, Ill. USA (Sept. 16, 2009) – As the United Nations (UN) opens its General Assembly on Sept. 21, the International Day of Peace, Rotary clubs around the world will be awaiting the results of a global competition to choose the next class of Rotary World Peace Fellows, who will begin their studies in 2010.
“You only have to pick up a newspaper to realize how vitally important it is that our world leaders be skilled in the arts of conflict resolution and peaceful negotiation,” said Glenn Estess, chair of The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International.
Through a worldwide, competitive process, this program awards full scholarships to up to 100 Rotary World Peace Fellows each year. Members of the 2010-11 class will be announced in October. The fellows study at the six Rotary Centers based at leading universities in five countries. Qualified applicants must possess an undergraduate degree, have a minimum three years of professional experience at international agencies such as the United Nations, governments, non-governmental organizations, businesses or academic institutions; and demonstrate a commitment to peace and international understanding through their volunteer, academic, and professional achievements.
The Rotary Centers for International Studies are located on the following campuses: International Christian University, Japan; Universidad del Salvador, Argentina; University of Bradford, the United Kingdom (UK); the University of Queensland, Australia; and - in a shared arrangement - Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, N.C. In addition to the two-year program, the Rotary Center at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand, offers an intensive, three-month course aimed at mid-level professionals in governments, non-governmental organizations, and international industry.
Those interested in the program can apply through local Rotary clubs. The 2011 applications will be available for download from the Rotary website beginning January 2010. Applications are due to The Rotary Foundation by 1 July of every year.
Launched in 2002, the Rotary Centers for International Studies program is already showing results. Currently, at least 400 Rotary World Peace Fellow alumni are making a difference in jobs within United Nations agencies, the World Bank, and leading non-governmental organizations.
“The Rotary World Peace Fellowship has given me a platform that will enable me to dedicate myself to the important challenge of international conflict prevention and peace-building in the future,” said Anna Pehrsson, Peace Fellow graduate from the Universidad del Salvador - Argentina, Department for Security Policy, Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sweden.
“I was working in conflict situations for over 10 years but never had the technical know-how of dealing with conflict until now,” said Abdulai Jalloh, Peace Fellow graduate from the Chulalongkorn University - Thailand, Logistics Officer, United Nations, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). “The innovations learnt have further widened my scope of the understanding of conflicts and how to deal with them to achieve a peaceful goal. My challenge now will be focused on how to render the DRC a conflict-free zone.”
Examples of Rotary Peace Fellow alumni include:
Christine Wright of the UK, who studied at the Rotary Center at Chulalongkorn University, is currently a program manager for the Kurdish Regional Government, and is responsible for facilitating peace-building projects across Northern Iraq in Erbil, Suly, Dahuk, Kirkuk, and Mosul.
Robert Opira of Uganda, who earned a master’s degree at the Rotary Center at the University of Queensland, is currently a peace and conflict consultant, providing technical support to humanitarian agencies helping internally displaced persons in Northern Uganda.
Izabela da Costa Pereira of Brazil, who earned a master’s degree at the Rotary Center at Universidad del Salvador, is a democratic governance officer with the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT), where she is helping the fledgling government of Timor-Leste establish itself.
Miho Kishitani of Japan, who received a master’s degree at the Rotary Center at the University of Bradford, is an external relations and project officer at the External Relations Department of United Nations Relief Workers Agency in Jerusalem.
Jeyashree Nadarajah of Malaysia, who earned a master’s degree from the Rotary Center at the University of California-Berkeley, is currently a program officer at the United Nations Office of the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict.
Rotary – an organization of business and professional leaders united worldwide in humanitarian service - has more than 1.2 million members in more than 33,000 clubs in over 200 countries and geographic regions. For more information, visit
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