By Angela Betancur
Being an AtlasCorps fellow taught me that I was not alone in the idea of contributing to more peaceful communities. I was so inspired by the great initiatives led by my fellow fellows worldwide that I decided to pursue further academic formation in Peace studies.
The Rotary Peace Fellowship is a great opportunity granted by Rotary International aimed to allow professionals from all over the world to pursue further education in Peace Studies. They have 5 Peace Centers located in 5 different countries. I chose to be in the Peace Center in Tokyo, Japan. I arrived here last August to study for 2 years a masters degree in Peace and Conflict studies.
At my university, ICU I study mostly with people from Asia what has been a great asset to increase my knowledge regarding Asian context and its challenges related to Peace and conflict. As part of the Fellowship, we conduct an Applied Field Experience (AFE) that could last from 2 to 5 months. In my case, next month I will be in Hawaii conducting an internship in an organization called Ceeds of Peace and then I will travel to Zimbabwe to conduct an internship with two organizations Alternatives to Violence and Centre for Conflict Management and Transformation.
Being an Atlas Corps Fellow and now a Rotary Peace Fellow has surely broader my perspective and encourages me to continue to transit the path to social change and work with grassroots communities and organizations. The lessons learned in this international experiences have enabled me to be able to contribute not only to the implementation of the Peace Agreement in my Country (Colombia) but to develop my career as a Social Worker in different international settings.