Rotary Peace Center at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand
My 5 year old daughter came across this sentence of hope, last year during a Michael Jackson’ s Show while we were on holidays.
The show had this little girl watching the world and thinking…. “Make the World A Better Place”
At that time to me, it seemed too ambitious or too naive….
Today, I belong to Class 23 of the Peace Fellowship of the Rotary Peace Center at Chulalongkorn University and “Making Peace” is becoming clearer, more concrete, and more real.
The Peace Fellowship is an incredible start to try to “Make the World A Better Place”! I appreciate my chance and I am so grateful to the Rotary Club in Cayenne (French Guiana), to my District D-7030, to the Rotary Foundation and to the Rotary Peace Center in Bangkok for not only offering this unique opportunity but also for the trust bestowed on me.
The goal of this fantastic program is not to change the entire world but at least to understand that, with little steps in our daily lives, in the daily work we do; it can make a difference in every level of society.
Peace making also means first of all, time to listen to each other, to get to know each other and to understand each other. That represents our first work within this group of fellows. We must be able to share first and then study the concept, the values and the tools of peace and conflict resolution. We have to create a united and healthy group.
We are all different. We have different nationalities, different backgrounds, different sensibilities. So we need to discover each of our personalities and to understand it. This is the first wealth of this program.
To understand the objectives of this program and its spirit, I reflect on the first weekend, and the very warm welcome from the Rotary Club of Bangkok. We listened to the Past Rotary International President Bhichai Rattakul, former foreign Minister, who pioneered this Peace Program in Bangkok. He gave us a magnificent message of hope by explaining his own peace project or peace action as an individual in order to seek a way to contribute to peace.
I will keep in mind his three KEY WORDS for making PEACE :
The personality of this charismatic man is impressive. He embodies this famous expression “when there is a will, there is a way”. We could add “to make peace” at the end of this sentence.
During this fellowship we have the privilege of being supported by host counsellors, who are Rotary Members in Thailand. That is how I met Margret and Otmar Deter. Both of them contribute actively to peace with their Rotary Club of Pattaya. They sponsored different projects notably for the development of children in socially deprived areas and for the kids of migrant workers in Pattaya.
These two extraordinary people help shore up the fragile edifice of peace.
Last week, we had to express our thoughts about our next TEN weeks in Thailand with the aim of knowing what we are going to do to start making peace.
Beyond studying, learning and sharing interesting knowledge in peace and conflict resolution, my Italian colleague and I thought about our children. Thanks to this fellowship in Thailand, our young children, who will meet each other in a few weeks, will also learn about diversity, multi cultural exchange and tolerance.
This is also Peace Making…
In my professional life, this program is an opportunity to analyse my previous experiences in the field in Guatemala, Ecuador and Tanzania. As a lawyer, this program will definitely help me to improve and enlarge my assessment concerning particularly the issue of access to justice and my approach for negotiation and mediation.
The combination of practical activities and academic knowledges is obviously essential to work efficiently for Peace.
Christine CHARLOT – French Guiana
Rotary Peace Fellow – Class 23
With Margret and Omar DETER, Host Counsellor, President of the Rotary Club Dolphin Pattaya International, District 3340, http://www.rec-dolphin-pattaya-international.org/