Dear Friends and Rotarians,
The month of February is marked by two dominant themes in 2019:  Peace and Love.  On February 9 our District 5890 is hosting a Peace Conference and an All-Club Gala Dinner.  "Peace"is one of the six major focus areas of Rotary International.   This will be an excellent program with inspiring speakers.  I will be there and hope you will join us, too, if you are in Houston.
Are you aware of the Rotary PeaceCenters program?  Rotary International  began this program in 2002 and has trained more than 1.100 Peace Fellows around the word who are now working as leaders in government, nongovernmental organizations, the military, law enforcement, education, humanitarian assistance, restorative justice, and international governance organizations.  The Rotary Peace Center’s mission is to promote world peace by educating and empowering peacebuilders through rigorous academic training, applied field experience, and global networking opportunities.  Rotarians share the task of recruiting qualified candidates for the program.   The Rotary Peace Fellowship is designed for professionals who have already worked in careers related to international relations or peace and conflict resolution and who are committed to community or international humanitarian service and working for peace. The fellowship is not intended for recent college graduates with little to no relevant professional experience.  Six Rotary Peace Centers operate in partnership with seven premier universities in six countries around the world (in the United States, the peace center is associated with both Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). Each Rotary Peace Center offers its own customized curriculum and field-based learning opportunities that examine peace and conflict theory through various frameworks.  The application is available only between February and July.
Also, this month is our traditional Valentine's Day.  In addition to the United States, Valentine’s Day is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France and Australia.  Share the love with your family and friends on February 14th with the usual candy, flowers, and greeting cards, and also consider purchasing one or more Teddy bears to share with hospitalized children.  It warms a person's heart to give to others a message of caring.  As Rotarians, let us demonstrate how we care about helping others in some small way.  In Houston, you may deliver your bear(s) to a local hospital or deliver to my home for the Venezuelan children.  Travel is not recommended at this time to Venezuela for political reasons, but we do share the stuffed animals to comfort the refugee children in Columbia.  Enjoy your celebration of love this month and find an outreach to others to share your caring heart.
Yours in Rotary,
Robin Charlesworth, President
Rotary e-Club of Houston 2018-19