Mary introduced Shannon O’Rouke Kasali as our speaker this morning. Mary noted that Shannon is an excellent example of how our donations to The International Rotary Foundation can help young people achieve their dreams of international peace and goodwill. Shannon is a Rotary Cultural Ambassadorial Scholar and a Rotary Global Peace Fellow. Her awards and service were initiated through our Rotary District. Shannon’s education began with her Bachelors degree in Political Science from Illinois Wesleyan University, a Masters in International Development from The George Washington University and is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Library and Information sciences.

Shannon worked in Senegal, Mali, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo for international organizations and the United Nations as a Rotary Cultural Ambassador. As a 2016 Rotary Global Peace fellow she concentrated on Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution in Bangkok, Thailand.

She has made Rotary Connections through out the world visiting Rotary leaders in Hiroshima, Japan, and in Bangkok, Thailand and traveled to Nepal. Helping to build cultures of peace through education.

She is the Founder and Executive director of Books For Congo a non-profit organization that creates libraries and promotes reading in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Books are very difficult to get and are extremely valued by the people. Through her organization she has brought over 70,000 books to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Shannon is also involved in the building of libraries and organizing their staff. Her current emphasis is to bring books by African authors to these new libraries. Education, basic literacy and peace remain Shannon’s focus.

Shannon acknowledges that her accomplishments could not have been possible without the help of Rotary. She will continue to help educate all people with books as without education, there is no peace.