• Joachim Reppmann

International Peace-Pipe Rotaract eClub

Updated: Jul 19, 2020

By Sophie Ruehlmann, Germany & John Knox, USA

People everywhere are familiar with Rotary International which, since its founding in 1905, has been a service organization one of whose major goals is working to help further world peace and understanding among nations. Yet it is likely that far fewer know of the parallel organization known as Rotoract, an international program for young people between the ages of 18 and 30 that was established in 1968 and currently has over 290,000 members. Rotoract members share the same goals as their parent organization, and typically join Rotary once they have established careers for themselves.

With public meetings difficult or impossible in these times of Coronavirus, a new idea has been suggested for the young people’s group in particular: Rotaract e-Clubs. To cite but one example, it is hoped that such a group will be in place in time for a “Vergangenheitsbewaeltigung” Rotary Peace-Pipe Conference to be held in Northfield, Minnesota in October, 6-8, of 2021 ('Indian Summer'). The subject of this conference will be “Vergangenheitsbewältigung – Dealing with the Past” and will have as its special guest Holger Knaack from Ratzeburg, Germany who is currently the President of Rotary International.

The young people’s group, “International Peace-Pipe Rotaract e-Club” will present its own parallel conference via Zoom. Travel grants will be made available to help some members make the trip to Northfield. The joint conference will present an exceptional opportunity for the sharing of ideas between Rotary and Rotaract.

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The question that confronts us today is the same as in 1931-32: Do our leaders have the capacity to reach beyond their grasp, to challenge us to seek the higher angels of nature, to choose "Be informed! Be informed!" rather than "Be afraid! Be afraid!" In the end, however, we know that world peace is too important to be left in the hands of our leaders. Peace starts in our own back yards when we speak our for understanding when their is disharmony, food security where there is hunger, health care where there is disease, education where there is illiteracy, conservation where there is environmental harm, sustainable development where there is poverty ... and when we write letters across border to build goodwill and better friendships. - William Tubbs (2019)

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