Rotary set to mark 100 years in Africa

Rotary is set to commemorate 100 years of existence in Africa. The first Rotary Club was started in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1921.

Rotary, a global network of dedicated problem-solvers who take action to create lasting change, have been instrumental in promoting peace, fighting diseases, supporting education, growing local economies, providing maternal and child support, as well as supporting the environment, and facilitating disaster response.

The celebration that will be held virtually on Friday will have a concert whose main objective is to raise funds to equip and train the only Peace Centre in Africa at Makerere University that is estimated at USD 12 Million. The first cohort of Peace Fellows began their studies in January 2021.

“It’s to this end that we are looking for USD.12.000.000 to equip and train the only peace centre in Africa at Makerere University and keep it rolling in perpetuity,” says past Rotary International Vice President Yinka Hakeem Babalola.

"The goal is to ensure that the Peace Fellows have the tools they need to solve tomorrow's problems and strive for peace. To end violence from war—and address lesser conflicts at home—we have to fundamentally change the way we view and build peace.”

The peace centre sponsors peace fellows from around the world to help solve complex conflict situations on the globe. Each year the peace centre trains and support 40 peace fellows.

According to UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, 79.5 million people are currently displaced by conflict, violence, or persecution, 40% of these are children, 85% of these in developing countries.

Rotary provides training that fosters understanding and equips communities with skills to resolve these conflicts. Peace building is about community building and Rotary is always in the business of training leaders including youth and preventing immediate conflict, helping in addressing the structural causes of conflict and build peace.

The concert will be a three hour show of African beat, color & rhythm by one of Africa's best-performing arts including Ndere Troupe from Uganda, Indian Cultural troupe and the Munnye Children’s Choir.

Rotary and its members refuse to accept conflict as a way of life and are committed to pursuing projects that address the structural causes of conflict including poverty, inequality, ethnic tension, lack of access to education, and unequal distribution of resources.

Last year the continent of Africa was declared free of the polio virus. This was a win for global health and humanity made possible with the concerted efforts of rotary and her partners.

"Peace building has always been at the core of Rotary as an organization, as early as 1917 we adopted resolution of peace as an organizational focus, we have been at it since then. The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world of fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service."

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