Dear Fellow Rotarians,
 
The theme for this month is Peace and Conflict Resolution – as an organization, peace is the foundation of our mission. Rotarians believe that when peace is achieved in communities, it can have a lasting global effect. By doing projects and peace fellowships/scholarships, Rotarians take action to address the original cause of conflict which can include poverty, discrimination, and lack of education to name a few. 
 
Nowadays with our World becoming more digital – the young generation can be taken astray by those with malice motives. An Interactor from Brazil, named Gabriel Kenji is a great example of how digital conflict can be resolved. In 2017, he was horrified to learn about an online suicide game called the Blue Whale, which preys on vulnerable adolescents. The game starts off harmless, as the youth are asked to do challenges over a 50-day period, which eventually included self-harm and ended with the teenagers being urged to take their own life. This game was created in Russia and there have been over 130 suicide cases that were allegedly linked to this game. Interactor Gabriel created a new game called the White Whale which helps to boost self-esteem, self-worth and encourages peaceful interactions among youngsters. Challenges included forgiving yourself for mistakes, exercising daily and posting positive messages on social media, etc. Interactor Gabriel says: “We want to show young people that they can make small changes to change the direction of their lives. And, that there is another path for teenagers to take that is far removed from an action like taking your own life.” 
At the time of the interview, Interactor Gabriel said that over 4,000 people have shared the White Whale’s Facebook page with a reach of nearly 30,000. With the help of fellow Interactors and the local Rotaract Clubs in Brazil, they are spreading the word by handing out brochures at bus stations, busy intersections and family and friends. Interactor Gabriel says: “I’m so grateful that my Club and other people in the Rotary family are taking a small idea and making it big.” 
 
In conclusion, for this month of Peace and Conflict Resolution, I encourage you all to continue the great work Clubs in the District are doing in your communities and globally. Every one of us can make a difference, no matter how big or small the action, as we can see in the example with Interactor Gabriel.  
 
Yours in Rotary Service,
Louis Wever
District Governor 2021-2022 
District 7020