Posted by Christopher McBride on Apr 07, 2018
Pieces of Peace


Rotary Peace Center at Duke-University of North Carolina Annual Peace Conference 2018, Pieces of Peace, Our Commitments to peace-building for a plural world. has a link to the video live stream feed of the conference that was recorded.

Rotary Eclub of District 7255, Club President Rotarian Christopher McBride is a contributor to the Rotary Foundation as a member of the Bequeath Society since 2013, and so he was invited to this event as a guest of the Rotary Foundation again. But this year the invitation was accepted. Carefully making the 500+ mile trip southward at a steady pace it took about 9-10 hours. Landing at the home of NY friends who recently retired to a location near Duke-UNC in Chapel Hill, he arrived on Thursday.

Pieces of Peace

Daniela Schermerhorn

Daniela Schermerhorn, Peace Fellow scholar and the first Brazilian Police Woman, returned to school, developed a plan for building peace through dignity, empowerment and equality.

Celebration and relief for many at the conclusion of four sessions of presenting their topics after much preparation.

Beautiful handmade finger puppets and colorful beaded humming birds for a cause were available to the side of the theatre doors. The supporter in charge must know the Object of Rotary 2. to have earned the opportunity to be one of two at the event.

Right: The author happily having a photo taken with UNC Peace Fellow, Venera Urbaeva. Dept. of Global Public Health.

Peace Scholar, Patrick Bwire from Kampala, Uganda; Spoke to the topic of addressing Community Land Conflicts in Uganda. Seen here receiving the certificate and pin from Rotary International.

Peace Scholar Gada Roba, Explained the need for political change in Ethiopia and how nonviolence is the method, but government control silences the opposition b y force.

 Friday evening, April 6, was the Event Reception where Rotary Peace Centers Committee Chair, Peter Kyle delivered a warm welcome to all, including Rotary Foundation Trustee Vice Chair Ken Shuppert and some of the Peace Center Staff plus a few selected Peace Fellows, including Sajjad Hussain Changezi from Pakistan, Patrick Bwire of Kampala Uganda and a couple more. 

Naturally since Rotarian Chris has a father & son like relationship with incoming Eclub Club President Charles Komakech of Uganda, upon hearing the scholar Patrick is also from Kampala, there was an automatic connection to be made for the sake of “developing acquaintance as an opportunity for service” (First Object of Rotary). 

Then upon learning that Sajjad is from Pakistan, he represented an opportunity for “The advancement of international understanding, goodwill and peace…” (Forth Object of Rotary) since international, intercultural and interfaith are all related to international peace and we are an international club.

All together there are 29 Peace Fellows in the class of 2015 from around the world. Although most of them attended the event and mingled with attendees during lunch in between sessions. There were twelve presentations in total. They covered the gamut of topics such as Global Warming, Refugees, Mental Health, Access to Energy and Indigenous Artisans of Central America, to name a few.

After each presentation–of which there were two or three per session–the Peace Fellow answered questions. The first presentation of the day actually suggested a good way to reduce methane that destroys our planets ozone. The USFDA approved a food sharing program by which students and office workers can donate unopened food to others for consumption by someone else instead of going in the trash can. It may sound silly to some but when done on a large scale it really can make a difference.

Another topic the first session discussed what is called Cash Transfer in Humanitarian Settings pointed out the higher effectiveness of donations in cash for people in need vs. vouchers and vs. actual food, clothing etc. Some very good points made about that too. 

The best idea of the day talked about Leadership and the difference between Transactional and transitional. In other words are we leaders that are reacting to something like a need, or an opportunity we see for ourselves or is it better to lead a group into transitioning toward a longer term, more sustainable change? The later option seems to make most sense to me for reasons we can ands should discuss.

The photos were taken mostly by Chris except for the ones he is in of course.The quality is not great since they were all taken with a phone, but they’re good enough for online.

You just might greatly enjoy hearing these exciting young scholars, their ideas and passions all being fueled by Foundation Grants and of course Service Above Self.