Peace Building in District 5495

Applications for the 2024 Rotary Peace Fellowships are now available!

Dear club presidents and district officers,

You can help promote peace in the world by encouraging peace and development leaders in your community to apply for the Rotary Peace Fellowship.

Each year, Rotary awards fully funded fellowships for peacebuilders from diverse backgrounds to study at one of our peace centers located at premier universities around the world. This year, we’ll select 50 peace fellows to study in our master’s degree programs and 40 fellows to earn a professional development certificate.

Rotary Peace Fellows use their training to amplify their work at the local, regional, or global level. Clubs and districts can partner with them on peacebuilding initiatives before, during, and after their fellowships.

But we need your help finding candidates. Rotary and Rotaract members can get involved by:
Candidates have until 15 May to submit applications to The Rotary Foundation.

Thanks to generous support from donors and the dedicated participation of Rotary members, the peace fellowship program has more than 1,600 alumni working to make positive change in more than 140 countries.

To learn more about how you can recruit the next generation of peace fellows, contact your district Rotary Peace Fellowship subcommittee chair or write to
The Rotary Action Group for Peace will hold the first Global Peacebuilder Club Meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023.  It will be held in segments, beginning with the Hong Kong region and proceeding west throughout the day.  
Rotary was founded on the principle of “Service through acquaintance” and this meeting is in keeping with that principle.  The meeting will provide an opportunity for Peacebuilder Clubs to build acquaintance and fellowship and will allow them to inform one another about their activities and projects.  
The meeting will also introduce existing and prospective Chapters.
Please watch for the invitation to be issued this week.  If you are not sure if your Peacebuilder Club is on the list, please use the following form to register: 
By Barbara Muller
Chair, Rotary Action Group for Peace
Happy New Year, my dear Rotarians! Together we can make 2023 our year for world peace!
When my twin granddaughters were born, I was in Trader Joe's and the checkers rang the bells at the counters. "These bells are ringing in an era of peace," I told everyone. 
That was a few years ago, and I still believe Peace is Possible, which is the theme for my year as 2022-23 Chair of the RAGFP. Peace is something we have to work for,, as I have learned from the 100+ Podcasts with Peacebuilders ( 
And our UN Secretary-General made peace in his annual message:
"This is not a time to sit on the sidelines; it is a time for resolve, determination, and – yes – even hope." - UN Chief.
The UN chief said on Monday, he was determined to make 2023 "a year for peace" and a "year for action", highlighting the need for practical solutions to a raft of pressing problems facing all regions of the world.
The United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, pledged to make 2023 "a year for peace" and a "year for action."
When all 191 UN member states and each of our 35,000 Rotary Clubs continue to work for the peace our world needs, through service projects, our thoughts, and local actions, peace will be a reality. 
How we create a culture of peace is evolving. Peace building is more effective at the community level where needs are known and solutions come from collaboration and cooperation between all sectors which also creates greater respect for one another and benefits all citizens.
As Paul Harris, our founder, sums it up:
"Rotary changes us and those we serve. I believe we can change the world one club at a time."
In 2006, then-Director Jerry Hall established a Zones 26 & 27 Endowed Fund for Peace and Conflict Resolution through The Rotary Foundation. The fund goal was $500,000 which would fund a “Peace Chair” every fourth year.
Now, as the result of years of mostly DDF giving, we are just $62,000 from reaching this goal. At the 2022 Trails to Peace Institute, 12 Rotarians pledged a total of $21,000 and District 5520 pledged $10,000 in DDF to the fund - half of the remaining $62,000 needed.
You and your Districts have an opportunity to help reach our goal by making individual contributions or District DDF transfers. We ask each District to consider transferring at least $3,000 DDF (or or any amount the District chooses) to Endowed Fund E10557 “Zone 26/27 Endowed Fund for Peace and Conflict Resolution.” Click HERE for the online DDF transfer form. 
Individual Rotarians may contribute using The Rotary Foundation Contribution Form (123-EN) and entering fund number E10557 in the “Endowment Fund” space.
Questions? Contact your Zones 26 & 27 Endowment/Major Giving Officers:
Submitted by Robert Wertz, Chair
PF Rotary Club Peacebuilders Committee
A Peace Pole sponsored by the Prescott Frontier Rotary Club was dedicated Sept. 21 at the Yavapai College.  The Peace Pole is located adjacent the library entrance from 5 to 7 p.m.
This project represents the realization of a vision held by Nancy Van Pelt. The project presented an opportunity for Yavapai College Art students to develop a sculptural interpretation of a Peace Pole. A rigorous review process resulted in the selection of a truly unique and inspiring version of a Peace Pole.
Following a celebration of the 2020 International Day of Peace, the Prescott Frontier Rotary Club Board approved the formation of a Peacebuilders Committee. Nancy Van Pelt's recommendation to place a Peace Pole in a prominent Prescott public setting was endorsed as the committee’s first priority.
Our proposal for a student-led design competition was enthusiastically endorsed by the Yavapai College (YC) Foundation. A design developed by YC sculpture student, Ron Miller, was approved for fabrication and placement on campus by the Art Department Selection Committee.
One of the project goals is to reinvigorate the YC Rotaract Club which has been dormant since the onset of the pandemic. I am pleased to report the Art Department Chair has expressed his support of a presentation of the Virtual Reality-based peacebuilding program presented during the recent peace symposium. Extra credit will be offered for participation in the program. The program will serve as an introduction to the RI Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention Area of Focus as well as the Rotaract Club in general.
A dedication of the Peace Pole sculpture and celebration of the 41st anniversary of the International Day of Peace will be held 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, September 21, 2022. The dedication will take place in the plaza adjacent the library entrance.
“This project represents the realization of a vision held by Nancy Van Pelt. The project presented an opportunity for Yavapai College Art students to develop a sculptural interpretation of a Peace Pole. A rigorous review process resulted in the selection of a truly unique and inspiring version of a Peace Pole,” said Robert Wertz, chair of the Prescott Frontier Rotary Club Peacebuilders Committee.
The sculpture is secured to a 14-inch pedestal that will include a plaque, which prominently features the Rotary Logo and support provided by our foundation.
By Barbara Muller
Chair, Rotary Action Group for Peace
What if Peace is possible and it starts with each of us?
In my travels at World Peace Conferences and on my Peace Podcasts, I’ve had conversation with scientists, world leaders and hundreds of peace builders. I’ve seen the power of a single act, a single word or a single person start a chain for peace. Even in the most horrific situations, people can still create peace.
It begins with us and starts with a conversation.
As Chair of the Rotary Action Group for Peace I’m here to say:
        Peace is personal
        Peace is our choice
        Peace is do-able
And each of us can contribute to a “language for peace” in our own unique way. 
Let’s confirm our commitment to peace on the International Day of Peace, September 21, 2022. The United Nations has said this is the time for strengthening the ideals for peace through observing the 2022 theme:
"End Racism. Build Peace". 
Hundreds of Rotary clubs have created events. My in box is filled with events and invitations. I plan to join many and I am keynoting several.
Thank you, Peace Builders!
We are the peace our world needs now and for all future generations.
We are excited to announce the 5th Annual Pursuing Peace Conference will be on Friday, September 16th! We have an amazing slate of guest speakers who will be sharing their peacemaking experiences. The primary topic for this year's conference is "Creating Peacemakers Around Us." Speakers include:
  • Chuck Fitzgerald – Conference Founder & Host
  • Elizabeth Gamarra – World Rotary Peace Fellow serving at the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency
  • Lisa Jernigan – Co-Founder & President, Amplify Peace
  • Dr. Sanjeev Khagram – Director General & Dean, ASU's Thunderbird School of Global Management
  • Scott Martin – Mediator & Conflict Coach, Mediators Beyond Borders International
  • Rev. Eve Nunez – Founder & President, National Latina / Latino Commission
  • Dr. Clyde Rivers – Founder & President, iChange Nations
  • Johrita Solari – Former Vice-President, Rotary International
The conference will be a one-day hybrid event; we will be streaming online, and we will be "in person" at the new campus of ASU's Thunderbird School of Global Management in downtown Phoenix, Arizona.

Registration for the conference is open now at This year, like previous years, you can set your own registration fee - and yes, $0 is OK!

We look forward to seeing you in September!

With gratitude and peace,

Chuck Fitzgerald
District 5495 Rotarians not only “served to change lives” this past year, but in two instances their actions most likely literally “saved” lives.
On November 1, 2021, The Rotary Peace Centers awarded two of its 50 Master’s Degree Peace Fellowships to two District 5495 applicants: Kateryna Mashchenko (Katya) from Ukraine, and Mustafa Rezaie, from Afghanistan.
Making their way out of their native countries and to their appointed peace centers this year, however, was anything but easy as the two found themselves looking to leave two nations devastated by conflict and humanitarian crisis.
Who knew the fate these two peacebuilders would endure over the next six months? Both Katya and Mustafa have been very brave in having to leave their families, friends, and homelands as they prepare for their Fellowships to continue to make a difference to help others.
Thanks to direct assistance by Rotarians, however, both have happy endings to their stories.
Mustafa Rezaie
Mustafa was chosen to attend Duke University and the biggest challenge of his new journey was simply being able to get he and his family safely out of Afghanistan.
District 5495 Rotarians were first able to help Mustafa, his wife, and two young daughters escape Afghanistan in February and find refuge in Pakistan with the help of Pakistan Rotarians and others. 
Dr. Ruth Tan Lim of the Rotary Club of Mesa Sunrise has been named the District 5495 2022 Champion for Peace.
The award was announced and presented at the District 5495 Peace Symposium held May 12 in Prescott, and also shared at May 14 at the District Conference at the Prescott Resort and Conference Center.
Dr. Ruth has been an advocate for peace and a long-time peacebuilder. She has traveled to several countries participating in global grants and helped to plant a number of peace poles throughout Arizona.
She is a veteran of the first Desert Storm War, and a long-time passionate provider of health care for children. She has collaborated with physicians and other organizations to provide much needed medical care and assistance to those of all ages in need of eye exams, hearing exams and dental exams.
Dr. Ruth is in the process of making Mesa an International City of Peace, and has been an active member of the Mesa Sunrise Rotary Club for more than 15 years.