Week commencing 31st January, 2013
The Peace Scholarship programme was started in 2002. Its purpose is to develop candidates to become leaders, who promote national and international cooperation, peace + the resolution of conflict. Rotary has developed links with several established universities around the world, through which it offers a 2 year Masters degree, or a 3 month Professional Development course (Thailand only).
There are 7 universities involved, with 6 Peace Centres; these are:-
1. Duke University + University of North Carolina @ Chapel Hill, USA
2. International Christian University, Tokyo, Japan
3. University of Bradford, Yorkshire, UK
4. University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
5. Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
6. Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand (Professional Development Course)
The intake is roughly 70 scholars each year (about 10 at each of the Peace Centres). A scholar cannot study in his/her own country.
The Peace Centre at the University of Bradford, is one of the most popular choices with scholars. The Rotarians near Bradford University (in District 1040) get very involved with the scholars who come to study in the UK. However, in Rotary year 2012/13 the idea of ‘remote Host Counselling’ was tried, whereby a scholar was attached to another RIBI District, perhaps much further away. We in D1100 had an Argentinean Peace Fellow (Viki Gabioud) attached to the District; she visited 3 times, notably at the District Conference in Bristol, where many delegates met up with her to learn much more about the programme.
Each October Rotary runs a one day Peace Seminar in Bradford, in conjunction with the University. There are usually speakers of national or international standing, who work in a range of fields such as International Development. The day includes a short address from each of that year’s intake of Rotary Peace Fellows, and a longer address from each of the Fellows who are just completing their 2 year course.
An integral part of the Masters Degree course is the 3 month Field Study Experience, which could be anywhere in the world. At one Peace Seminar, a Fellow outlined her experience working in a refugee camp; she told of the infrastructure that needs to be put in place, to help give some ‘normality’ to the life of the dispossessed. Another Fellow had worked at UNHCR, helping to coordinate ‘from above’ so to speak, the various agencies which deal with the provision of food, healthcare, education, security etc in refugee camp.
Our ‘remote’ scholar, Viki, worked with a charity on the Balkans Peace Park Project (B3P); the charity has helped to set up ‘neutral zones’ between Albania, Kosovo + Montenegro, where historically there are hostilities.
Although we have had conversations with several Clubs in the District about possible candidates for the programme, at the time of writing (Jan, 2013) D1100 has not yet put forward a candidate to The Rotary Foundation.