District Governor Patsy Marshall extends sincerest thanks to Ernie Ginsler for his efforts with the Peace Scholarship/Peace Centre Initiative and for the following update.
Happy New Year. A lot has happened since my last update. I’ll make this short and sweet, but if anyone wants more information, just let me know.
Since the initiative began in 2012, we have raised a little under $150,000 in cash and pledges for Rotary Peace Scholarships at The University of Waterloo. Students in the Master’s Degree in Global Governance at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, The Master’s Degree in Peace and Conflict Studies at Conrad Grebel University College, and The Certificate in Peace and Conflict Studies at Conrad Grebel have received scholarships. So far, five students have benefited. Our next step is to go beyond our cluster to the rest of the District.
The initiative has also fit very well into this year’s Rotary Theme – Light Up Rotary.A number of articles in university publications and mailings have been circulated to tens of thousands of alumni. Articles about the Rotary/University initiative have also been published in the local newspaper.
Other developments
As a result of our local efforts in supporting peace scholarships at UW, I have been asked to represent Rotary on the founding committee of an independent global peace centre being established through efforts made by Conrad Grebel University College at The University of Waterloo and Ziauddin Yousafzai (Malala's Father). The peace centre is just at the beginning of its planning stage, but there is already interest from major Canadian and international NGOs. Local Rotary involvement is seen as being very important.
I had dinner with Ziauddin Yousafzai (who is a Rotarian) in Late October and he is eager to help in the establishment of the peace centre at UW. He established a centre in Pakistan a number of years ago and he hopes that the Pakistani and Canadian centres can work together in the future. In the meantime he is actively involved by Skype in organizational meetings.
Our long-term goal continues to be having RI establish a Rotary Peace Centre at the University of Waterloo at some time in the future. In the meantime, we continue to work towards more funding for local scholarships, and now, the establishment of an independent centre that would be a great complementary organization to a Rotary Peace Centre.