Ottawa Chapter Action Plan Meeting 2015

January 17, 2015

WFWP Ottawa Chapter (6)The Ottawa members of the Women’s Federation had a meeting to plan their upcoming year.  They discussed their action plan for 2015, including: membership fees, development of a membership database, reports from WFWP and their chapter’s action plan for the upcoming year.

Ottawa Chapter’s 2015 action plan

  • Partnering with Coalition against Human Trafficking- Helen Ross will be invited to speak at the February meeting to discuss a more concrete details of how WFWP – Ottawa can contribute
  • Girls Night Out With Our Young Women – March 2015
  • Participate in the Capital Region Interfaith Council (CRIC)
  • Participate in Joy of Faith Concert – June 2015
  • Participate in Interfaith Prayer – October 2015
  • Participate in National and Toronto Chapter’s Activities – June Poetry Event Toronto: Ottawa Chapter in contact with Youth Poetry Group and Theatre “Once Upon the Kingdom“. An Invitation will be extended in hopes of a joint collaboration
    September National WFWP retreat-Ottawa Members committed to attend.

WFWP Ottawa Chapter (1)

In Review: Window Shopping for Lasting Love, A Program on Marriage in Canada, Nov 2, 2014

Event article in the local paper in Mississauga
Event article in the local paper in Mississauga

A good crowd gathered on Sunday November 2nd, including the Consul of India and his wife, at the Mississauga Arts Centre for an afternoon of theatre and discussion on the topic of arranged marriages. The audience included other writers, members of the cast, representatives from the Universal Peace Federation, Dr. Moon Shik Kim and Rev. Mitch Dixon who also took care of the technical aspects of the event, and a beautiful rainbow of faces, colours and ages reflecting the diversity that it is Canada. The discussion was stimulated by first watching a screen recording of Zohra Zoberi’s excellent award-winning play, “Window Shopping … for Lasting Love”. The event was sponsored by Zohra’s ‘Bridging the Gap Productions and Women’s Federation for World Peace Canada (WFWP).

The play centers around the dilemma faced by a 27 year old, Seema, a professional young Canadian adult coming from a South Asian family, in dealing with her parents’, and especially her mother’s aspirations to arrange her marriage and the desires of her own heart. A potential well educated, professional match comes from Detroit with his family and it seems that the arrangement is going to move forward. Seema, with no help at all from a troublesome, but for the audience, highly amusing younger brother, and her more thoughtful girlfriends, goes through a difficult process of conforming herself to her parents’ viewpoint. This included ending her relationship with her Caucasian boyfriend who professed his love for her and, we can presume, dealing with her office colleagues. Then it transpires that the young Detroiter has a girlfriend and no interest in the attractive, intelligent Seema. So it seems that Seema has lost everything. But at the end love and marriage are found through a blind date, arranged by her brother Omar, with a young man completely acceptable to Seema’s parents and family.

The play provided an excellent introduction for a very lively question and answer session with the assembles panel of the play’s author Zohra Zoberi; Jasmin Jackman, Director of Skills for Change, who met her husband on a blind date; Roohina Gilani, a counselor with Victim Services of Peel, who shared the dark side of arranged marriages and David Stewart, whose marriage to the event’s MC, Eveline Stewart was arranged 32 years ago by the WFWP founders, the Rev. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon. A quick showing of hands showed that many of the audience’s marriages had been arranged. This included the Consul of India, Aklesh Mishra and his wife, Reeti, who both shared very warmly and humorously their experience in being successfully matched by their parents. The Consul also shared how only in Canada has he repeatedly been invited to events originating in the Pakistani community for which he is very grateful and honoured. One young man shared how his parents’ attempt to arrange his marriage did not work out and how this has affected him. Others were quick to point out the differences between “forced” and “arranged” marriages, the former sadly still occurring in Canada more frequently than one might think. All agreed something must be done to curb the current divorce rate. Clearly arranged marriages are alive in Canada, if under some attack from the Canadian-born and educated young adults growing up in those communities in which such marriages are the cultural norm.

Many thanks to WFWP President Lilly Tadin for her help in organizing the event and her words of introduction, and most especially to Zohra Zoberi without whom this on-going stimulating discussion would not have started and who also provided the huge delicious cake enjoyed by all in celebration of the tenth anniversary of ‘Bridging the Gap Productions’.

 

In Review: Joint National Conference WFWP and UPF, May 30, 2014

Issues of Values and Good Governance Ottawa, Canada

By Franco Famularo, Secretary General, UPF-Canada
Friday, May 30, 2014

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What is Canada’s Future as a Global Peacekeeper? Is Good Order Reliant on Good Values? Is Canada a Model of Good Government? Three distinct panels composed of religious and political figures as well as leaders of civil society tackled the principal questions listed above at the 3rd annual joint conference of the Canadian chapters of the Universal Peace Federation and Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP) held in Ottawa, Canada May 30, 2014.

As part of a series of Educating for Peace seminars and conference, Ambassadors for Peace from across Canada came together to listen to current member of Parliament, Stephane Dion, a former leader of the opposition and cabinet minister, address serious questions that the Canadian government is currently facing such as the relationship between the Prime Minister and the Chief Justice and the ongoing debate over the role of the Senate. Some serious reflections were also offered on how Canada’s traditional role in the world as a peace broker has changed.

The conference began with an introduction to Universal Peace Federation by Ricardo de Sena, recently appointed Secretary-General for North America, who provided a glimpse into the worldwide work of UPF. His presentation was followed by Mrs. Angelika Selle, an International Vice-President of WFWP and President of the American chapter.

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A highlight was the presence of UPF International Chairman, Dr. Charles S. Yang, who offered his insights on the important role Canada has played historically as a peace broker worldwide. He reminded the audience of the great need for peace, order and good government not only in Canada

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but around the world. He shared that the vision of the founders of UPF and WFWP was that we should promote the ideal of Living for the sake of others as the central principle that transforms a ‘self-serving’ or ‘nation serving’ perspective into one of ‘selfless service’ and living for the sake of the whole – an essential ingredient in building a world community and a core principle of UPF. He went on to state that the founders emphasized Going beyond barriers that divide people: barriers such as race, religion, nationality, status, class, culture, personality, etc., that traditionally separate people. To enable differences to “enhance” rather than separate requires dialogue, cooperation and respect among all religions, races, cultures and nationalities. Finally, he zeroed in on the most fundamental issue of making a commitment to the renewal and health of the family: He declared that the most fundamental unit of society and the first “school” for human relationships is the family. Each person’s sacred duty to create a peaceful world can be realized through personal investment in creating healthy families.

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The first panel was asked to answer the question: What Is Canada’s Future as a Global Peace Maker?

Moderated by Mr. Kaz Masciotra, a student at McGill University, the panelists included Mr. Bill Bhaneja, a former diplomat and co-founder of the Canadian Department of Peace; Ms. Judie Oron, a Canadian Israeli award-winning author and journalist formerly with the Jerusalem Post; Rev. Dr. Stan Chu Ilo, a professor at the University of Toronto; and Ms. Karen McCrimmon, a retired lieutenant colonel with the Canadian Armed Forces who had served in 1st Iraq war, the Balkans and Afghanistan. McCrimmon is also running as a candidate in the next federal election.

Each panelist offered their views on Canada’s traditional role as a global peace keeper and whether the perception of Canada is changing. The presentations and later the questions and answers from the audience focused on whether Canada can afford not to engage in “doing peace” and whether any excuse is valid for withdrawing from peace efforts.

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In the second panel the question of whether Good Order Is Reliant on Good Values was addressed. Dr. Peter Stockdale, a former senior analyst with the government of Canada and currently a research and management consultant, moderated the panel that was challenged with clarifying the values that underpin good governance. The panel represented views from across Canada and was composed of participants from very diverse walks of life. Rev. Dr. Stef Piva, a minister of a large congregation in the Vancouver area on Canada’s west coast had the audience thinking when he brought up the issue of forgiveness in his opening remarks. Ms. Denise Anne Boissoneau, an indigenous scholar with a law degree from the University of Ottawa, struck a sensitive chord as she reminded the audience of the plight of the aboriginal people in Canada as she strongly advocated for the vast community of aboriginal peoples in Canada. She was followed by Ms. Tanya Walker, a lawyer with offices in Toronto’s prestigious financial district (the equivalent of Wall Street) called Bay Street. Ms. Walker drew on her experience as a judge and in dealing with commercial and financial disputes to address the issue of values. Finally, Mr. Franco Famularo, Secretary General of UPF Canada, shared UPF’s view on good governance by providing an explanation on the purpose of government historically and in the modern period (see presentation attached).

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The second panel was followed by the appointing of nine Ambassadors for Peace, including two current senators who both made remarks. Presided by Dr. Moonshik Kim, current chair of UPF-Canada, and Mr. Alan Wilding, director of UPF for Western Canada, the audience was treated to remarks by newly appointed Ambassadors for Peace: Senator Mobina Jaffer, who represents British Columbia, and Senator Don Meredith from the Toronto area. They both expressed their commitment to continue working for the cause of peace and goodness.

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The third panel followed luncheon remarks by Mrs. Joy Pople, director of publications at UPF International, on the proposal for a Bering Strait causeway or tunnel. A main theme in the latter years of the founder provided much food for thought.

In the final panel, speakers addressed the question, Is Canada a Model of Good Government? Moderated by Dr. Armand La Barge, former chief of police for the York region, one of the most diverse areas of Canada. The panel included Rev. Darryl Gray, a civil rights activist and pastor of the Imani Family and Full Gospel Church. Rev. Gray, a prominent leader in Montreal, highlighted some of the troubling issues that members of minority communities have to deal with when faced by challenges by authority. He was followed by Mrs. Monia Mazigh, author and human rights activist who earned a Ph.D. in finance from McGill University. Ms. Mazigh is well-known to Canadians because she was catapulted to the national spotlight as she campaigned for the liberation of her husband, Mr. Maher Arar, from a Syrian prison on trumped charges of his being a terrorist. She successfully gained his release and then obtained a formal apology and compensation from the Canadian government.

Ms. Anita Vandenbeld, an International Democracy Developer, served in several countries co-ordinating anti-corruption campaigns and promoting a better understanding of rights and freedoms.

Finally, Ms. Lilly Tadin, President of WFWP-Canada, presented the position of the co-organizers on how Canada can be a better model of governance by applying the core principles promoted by the founders.

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The keynote speech was given by the Hon. Stephane Dion, current member of parliament from Montreal, who addressed key issues faced by the Canadian government at this time. The conference concluded with a lively question-and-answer session and discussions.

UPF and WFWP continue to hold regular monthly meetings in each of the major cities in Canada.

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WFW /UPF Mini Conference January 11 2014

P1120429A WFWP/UPF conference, part of the on-going ‘Educating for Peace’ series on, was held in Toronto on January 11, 2014 on the specific theme, ‘Stable Families Bring Prosperity, Peace and Integrity to the Nation’. It was compromised of 3 panels, with time for questions and answers and was very ably guided by Dr. Armand LaBarge, retired Police Chief of Peel. Rev. Earl Smith of the Church of Scientology offered the Invocation and Dr. Moon Shik Kim, the Canada UPF Chairman, welcoming remarks…P1120440

The first panel’s topic was, ‘Is the family in decline, as values are lost, leading to anarchy and chaos?’ guided by Eveline Stewart of Hamilton WFWP. To begin Nazila Isgandarova looked at the question from a Muslim perspective. Originally from Azerbaijan, Nazila is well aware of the challenges face by the immigrant population and, given that our identities are formed in the family, has seen the results of dysfunctional Muslim families, those which cannot live up to the dictates of the Koran. Thus the Muslim divorce rate is rising in N. America, with all of its resultant problems. Yet still the historical benefits of the Koran’s teaching in controlling and increasingly ending polygamy and creating equality for women must always be remembered.P1120524Nazila was followed by Chelomie Colchrist, a Christian. Chelomie stressed that stable families need both husband and wife modeling  ‘godly principles’ and that children cannot be left to raise themselves. Inspiring the audience that, “We are the change”, Chelomie underscored the power of the family to set the foundation to be passed on to the future.

This theme was continued by Rev. Mitch Dixon, Unificationist and Co-Chairman of the Toronto UPF. Using Rev. Moon’s remarks that lineage is more important than love or life and that the loss of lineage caused God the greatest pain, Rev. Dixon asked us to think forward 5 or 20 generations. He then compared the lineages of two early pioneer Americans, one starting with Max Juke, as studied in Richard L. Dugdale’s “The Jukes: A Study in Crime, Pauperism, Disease and Heredity”, the other beginning with the preacher Jonathan Edwards. From the preacher descended judges, professors, senators, mayors, even a vice-President. From the hard drinking, womanizing Juke came murderers, prostitutes, alcoholics, vagrants and bank robbers!

P1120543The second panel was a perspective on marriage and family from two young adult Unificationists, Sharon Fuchs and Miki Young. They warmed and won the audience’s hearts with their testimonies of their ‘matchings’ to their respective spouses, Sharon’s German, Miki’s Japanese, followed by the story of the development of real, substantial relationships and the difficulties they have so far faced and overcome.

P1120639After a delicious lunch, much enjoyed by all, Rev. Stoyan Tadin addressed the conference theme with his normal humor, passion and intelligence. Rev. Stoyan Tadin delivered the keynote addressed on the topic of “Stable Families Bring Prosperity, Peace, and Integrity to the Nation.” Rev. Stoyan was explicitly clear that the

most serious problem humankind is facing today is the gradual destruction of family values due to uncontrolled check upon immorality and erosion of divine values. The stability in families comes through love between one man and one woman,which is the basis of pro-creativity designed by God.

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The final panel, convened by Lilly Tadin, Canada WFWP Chairwoman, dealt with, ‘How do Religious Norms and Values add Stability to the Family. Has this been weakened by hypocrisy?’ Sandra Palin of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, shared the great value of Monday evening family night from when she was growing up right until today. Coming from a family of 9 she remembered how she loved it when all the family baked together. This tradition reflects the great value her church places on the family as, ‘ordained by God’ and that we are accountable before God.

Rev. David Stewart of the Unification Church looked at the commonly held assumption that divorce is as prevalent in Christian families as it is in the non-religious. Despite the problems faced in religious families he concluded that active, committed religious homes do indeed provide greater stability than the norm.  David was followed by Mrs. Kim Auckbaraullee graciously reading the presentation of the sadly absent Prof. Sahar Al-Majali, which provided insights from an Islamic perspective on the question at hand. Prefacing her remarks as to the centrality of the family in the Abrahamic faiths and other world religions as well as its sociological importance Prof. Al-Majali said that also, “the family was in all stages as a mirror that reflects the society in which it was created”. Thus despite the respect Islam has for the family and the care with which Islam has crafted its norms and values to protect the family and its members it has always been and remains under “waves of attack”. This is why Prof. Al-Majali exhorted all present to work hard to prevent greater disintegration and collapse of the family and Muslims to adhere strictly to the family norms and values of their religious tradition.

P1120579P1120621P1120631-Written by David Stewart

-Photographs by E. Young

WFWP Year End Party- Toronto Chapter

On Sunday December 8 laughter and merriment filled the air as Toronto WFWP hosted an end of the year holiday party for it’s members and friends.  The event was a wonderful time to share in the successes of the past year and the joys of the upcoming year.  Wonderful enertainment, moving speeches, games, raffles, and even artisans were selling their wares (for those who wanted to purchase last minute gifts).

We thank all who came out and shared in the day!  We are looking forward 2014!  Here is our day in photos:

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Universal Peace Federation and Women’s Federation Joint Conference – Ottawa

Second National Conference  WFWP and UPF Canada held in capital city of Ottawa, Canada

On October 5, 2013, participants representing numerous cultural and religious backgrounds came together in our beautiful capital city to discuss “Should Canada see itself as a Welcoming Family?”

The three main sessions included throughout the day included the topics:

Session 1: A More Caring, Sharing Citizen: The Role of Education

Session 2 – Is Devotional Garb a Sign of Spiritual Commitment or a Political Statement?

Session 3: The Cry of the Lost Aboriginal Sisters Across Canada

The conference closed with a keynote speech by Dr. Douglas Joseph Cardinal, an acclaimed architect who combines the values he gained from his German mother and Native father to create structures that show the contributions of Aboriginal people integrated into global civilization.

Here are pictures of the day:


 

WFWP International Conference-London

From 7-10 October 2013 WFWP International held it’s annual conference in the beautiful city of London! Mrs. Lilly Tadin represented Canada at the event. The title of the convention promoted by the Global Women’s Peace Network was “Finding the vision and the way forward to transform ourselves, protect our families and build a culture of peace”. About 150 women were gathered from all around the world discovering their potentiality, promoting the empowerment of women and the central role of the family. Participants from Asia, Canada, Europe, Japan, Korea, Middle East, Russia, Hong Kong, Moldova, Australia, South America and the USA were all in attendance. There were moments for discussions, reports, questions, reflections and strategic plans. The participants talked, sang and laughed together and also shared ideas, breaking down barriers of culture and religion, all unite for a world of peace. On 9 Oct 2013 the WFWP International Conference continued in London in the Houses of Parliament, in the House of Commons. The session 1 was “Women’s Empowerment and Networking to bring Innovative Strategies for Peace and Human Development”. We received a warm welcome to the House of Commons by our host, Mr. Virendra Sharma MP, Member of the UK Parliament. In the second session the topic was “Prevention, Protection and Provision for women and families against all forms of Violence”. The last day was used as moment for an interactive discussion towards defining a global plan. A big thank you to WFWP UK and WFWP Europe for the organization, we received warms hug from all of you!
Here is the event in pictures: