Posted by Bob Simmons

Last week RCFC member Dr. Bill Timpson shared his journey (so far) as a peacemaker; starting (and continuing) in Northern Ireland.  The peacemaking connection with Rotary at the global level and  at the local level were reviewed.  RI currently has 6 peace centers.  A newly formed Peacebuilder Club has been started at FCRC and meets after the general meeting on the first Wednesday of the month.  The FCRC Peacebuilder Club met after the general meeting to continue developing local goals and projects.

Bill reported on his experiences at 2 RI Peace Conferences- the World Peace Conference in Ontario,CA in January 2016 and the Conference on Sustainable Peace Building in Vancouver,BC on February 10, 2018.  Bill has published books and articles on  peace building. The steps are 1) Sustainable peace education, 2) Reconciliation and 3) Conflict resolution.  The importance of considering  issues such as food security, safety, and economic needs in peacebuilding were emphasized.  Efforts seem to be most successful when started by grass root movements and involve opponents working side by side with common goals.  Often women have taken the lead as in Northern Ireland with their successful protests to reclaim (peaceful) public space leading ultimately to the ceasefire in that country.  Bill's most recent efforts have been in Burundi working to integrate peace education into the school curriculum at all levels.  Burundi has experienced recent civil war and is among the poorest countries in Africa.