On February 4, 2020, Rotarian Real Provencher provided an update on the International Peace Project in Sierra Leone that our club has been significantly involved in. Pictured above is Real Provencher.
Real explained that the Global Peace Project that the Magnolia Rotary Club has signed up for is an effort by Rotary District 5910 to complete a Global Rotary Project which has never been done before. Rotary believes that Sierra Leone needs to have more capable women and "youth leaders" (defined as both men and women between the ages of 21 and 35) involved in a leadership role within Sierra Leone. Real told everyone that this Peace Project had collected $170,000 that came from 11 Rotary Clubs, District 5910 and Rotary International.
Real explained that he has recently returned from Bo, Sierra Leone where he participated in sessions about "Leadership" and "Conflict Resolution" where local women were coached in both areas. The participants all had college degrees and were extremely grateful for the Rotary efforts in their country to promote long term peace. The 61 participants were chosen from a pool of 324 women who signed up initially for the sessions and to be picked, they had to agree to completing  a community service project.
Real pointed out that our partners in this project are:
  • International Club - Magnolia Rotary Club, USA, District 5910
  • Host Club: Bo Rotary Club, Sierra Leone, District 9101
  • Cooperating Organization: Mediators Beyond Borders International (MBBI)
Real told everyone that although Sierra Leone is a beautiful country, its government is not very effective. This is because it is elected every 6 years but when that happens, everyone in the government loses their job and the new president must build his government from scratch. Real also pointed out that the real power in the country is held by sixteen male tribal chiefs who act as judge and jury for every dispute that arises in their community. Women are also severely under represented in the government and are not represented at all in the tribal chiefs power structure. One other problem the country faces is that polygamy is legal in the country since there are so few men due to all the previous wars. This allows some men to create a family and later abandon it for a new family.
Real then showed a video of six of the women that he personally interviewed. The women mostly spoke about the projects they plan on completing as well as their hopes for the future.