WFWP/UPF Joint Conference: Educating for Peace Series

imagePEACE, ORDER AND GOOD GOVERNMENT II
The Quest for True Canadian Values

OTTAWA, CANADA – NOVEMBER 13 & 14, 2015
Franco Famularo – Secretary-General, Canada
As a follow up to the 2014 annual joint UPF & WFWP conference with the same overall theme, the following issues were addressed:
• “A Canadian Youth Peace Service. Why & How?”
• “Challenges of Policing in the 21st Century”
• “Could an Interreligious Council at the UN oversee Jerusalem as an International City.”

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The conference consisted of three panels comprised of a moderator and experts in each area. Not only were the issues addressed within a Canadian context, but also in the broader context of how Canada can serve the world in each of the above areas.
In his welcoming remarks, Dr. Moonshik Kim, Chair of the Universal Peace Federation in Canada, emphasized that given current tensions in our world, issues raised by the conference theme are indeed urgent.
Co-MCs for the conference were Robert Duffy and Eveline Stewart, both veterans of peace efforts on several continents.
After introductions to the Universal Peace Federation by Franco Famularo and to the Women’s Federation for World Peace by Mrs. Lilly Tadin, a video presentation featured the world-wide efforts of both organizations.
The first panel moderated by Dr. Peter Stockdale on “A Canadian Youth Peace Service. Why & How?” featured Ms. Lina Tuzet, currently a social worker, who has actively participated in service projects in Vanuatu and in Paraguay during the past three years. She was followed by Baraa Arar, a high school student, strongly engaged in youth activities in the Muslim community of Ottawa. Both impressed the audience with their articulate presentations.
Andrew Cardozo of the Pearson Institute offered a view from a public policy perspective and the need for strengthening peace oriented youth activities. Desire Kilowla, program officer for International Development- Citizenship and Immigration Canada, provided the view as a Congolese living in Canada and his efforts to effect change in the Democratic Republic of Congo and beyond.

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During the 2nd panel on the “Challenges of Policing in the 21st century” a contrast of speakers addressed the topic.

The moderator, Dr. Michael Balcomb, a US citizen and President of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, USA shared an array of recent statistics on the state of affairs in the USA which, in his view, provided for a far worse situation with regards to relations between police and citizens than most countries – especially Canada.

Retired Chief of Police for York Region, Armand La Barge, provided a glimpse into the history of policing in Canada and the world. Providing hard numbers on the state of police resources (both human and material) in Canada was an eye-opener for many of the participants. (see attached presentation)

La Barge was followed by Ms. Gabrielle Fayant, an Indigineous Activist, who shared about the pain and suffering in her community due to continuing tension and misunderstanding with police and folks in authority.

Daniel Stringer then added his comments as one involved in community building as chair of the National Capital Peace Council in Ottawa. He was followed by Dr. Vern Redekop, a specialist in conflict studies at St. Paul University and author of “From Violence to Blessing” who related how he emerged from a small Mennonite Community in Saskatchewan to facing domestic and global policing issues.

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After a musical interlude provided by Classical Violinist, Ralitsa Tcholakova, the luncheon speech was given by veteran Ambassador for Peace, Rev. Darryl Gray, who currently serves as Special Assistant to the president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), spoke about the vision of the founders of UPF and WFWP. He urged each one present to emerge from the shadows with their message of goodness. Rev. Gray shared that even though a lot has happened since Martin Luther King Jr. founded the SCLC in the United States, recent violence due to racial tensions in the USA demonstrates there is still a lot of work to do.

The afternoon program included the appointment of four new Ambassadors for Peace, a final panel on the need for an Interreligious Council at the United Nations. Moderator Father Jacques Kabangu introduced the session which posed the hypothetical question: “Could an Interreligious Council oversee Jerusalem as an International City.”

Ricardo de Sena, UPF North American Secretary General led the session with a presentation on a proposal for such a council at the UN as proposed by the late Rev. Moon in August, 2000. He was followed by international human rights consultant and educator, Dr. Karen Mock who approached the question from the viewpoint of one with a Jewish Heritage. She was followed by Mrs. Alexa Ward, deputy director of the UN Office of the Women’s Federation for World Peace. A Muslim view was provided by Ms. Shaheen Junaid Ashraf, a representative of the Canadian Council of Muslim Women. The concluding on this session were provided by Mr. Michael McIntyre, past president of the Capital Region Interfaith Council in Ottawa.

Each of the three sessions was followed by a lively Question and Answer session.

To conclude the conference, the Honourable Anita Vandenbeld, recently elected to the Federal Parliament of Canada, explained “How Women of the World Empowered her to Become a Member of Parliament.”image

On November 14, with most everyone’s thoughts on the tragic events of the previous day in Paris, France, a Seminar was held on the topic “Exploring the Peace Philosophy of the Founders of UPF and WFWP”. Speakers included Dr. Michael Balcomb, Rev. Darryl Gray, Mrs. Alexa Ward and Mr. Alan Wilding.

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With thanks to all organizers, participants and those who helped make the 2 day conference and seminar a success.

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)

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:


 

Welcoming a New City Chapter – Ottawa

“The problems that humanity faces today can only be resolved through the ideals of true love centering on God, and one family under God.” – Hak Ja Han Moon, July 18, 2012
WFWP Canada would like to officially welcome the Ottawa Chapter and congratulate them on their openning ceremonies held at the Bronson Centre on March 21, 2013 in Ottawa.
The program was organized by Blandine Stringer with the help from members of the Ottawa community and WFWP Ottawa chapter members.
The program’s MC, Angelique Amengavi
Mrs. Lilly Tadin, WFWP Canada President, WFWPI vice-president, was the guest speaker for the evening.  She encouraged women of the community to work together to build up the Women’s Federation Foundation.  She continued to stress the fact that Women’s Federation was founded on the premise that women need to take the lead with maternal and mature love that draws on important elements such as empathy, reconciliation, intuition, tenacity, inclusion and sacrifice.  Women have the ability to build a world of peace based on one united human family. She commended, both the women and men present for their efforts to initiate a new chapter for Women’s Federation in the capital city of Canada stressing that to be people of influence, we need to think and act as owners…not as visitors and spectators. She concluded saying that seeds are being sown for a prosperous future.
Anna Baksheeva performed several selections for the Event

In Memory

Remembering Hon. Inyumba Aloisea

On  February 2nd the snowy city of Ottawa was chosen to remember and honor the late Hon. Aloisea Inyumba, a remarkable  Rwandan woman. Gathered were many Canadian-Rwandans from as far away as Quebec City, Montreal , Toronto and Hamilton together with a large number  of fellow citizens from Ottawa, the Hon David Kilgour as well as HE. Edda Mukabagwiza, the High Commissioner of Rwanda to Canada.

Representatives of WFWP-Canada were also in attendance since we had the honor to meet the Hon. Inyumba when she was invited to be our keynote speaker at the joint UPF-WFWP-Can. conference on the family held in Toronto On June 9th 2012.

Joseph  Rulinda , chairman of the Ottawa chapter of Rwandans in Canada was the first to testify to the humility the Hon Inyumba exemplified that despite her high position she truly touched people’s hearts. We then viewed the speech that HE. Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, gave in Hon Inyumba’s honour in the Rwandan Parliament in the presence of her family. He proceeded to give some background information on Ms Inyumba who became Minister of Gender and Family Promotion in May 2011. At the time, people around her noticed her failing health and he asked her to take time off but she wouldn’t, feeling a great sense of responsibility to her duties.

He testified to her as being a brave woman, hard-working and a patriot who could forget about herself. He said that not only had she been a Senator and a Minister but foremost she was an exceptional person with a pure heart, a leader. In his words: “Anybody can be a Minister or a Senator, but not everyone can be a good leader.”  She had great clarity of thought, was dignified and a great educator, teaching so many people life skills. She could befriend people of many different persuasions, a unifier. He also testified to how she could acknowledge her own errors, talk about them, accept them and ask forgiveness. During the struggle to liberate the nation she would go to the front line to provide help, never afraid for her life. Her dedication was absolute. Every time she was needed, she responded.

He ended his discourse with a heartfelt acknowledgement to her family and the statement that this occasion was only a farewell to her body but her deeds, hard work, her values and heart are still with us and changed  the nation. Chantal Mudagohora, the MC for the event who worked with Hon Inyumba after the genocide echoed these comments. Pastor Kayijuka  talked about  her as a women of great faith, not a smarter women but one who listened to God.

Her niece, Sandra Uwimana, related how her aunt had such a positive impact on the development of women.  She recounted her experience of going back to Rwanda and being warmly greeted and taken care of by her aunt. She thought she was receiving special treatment due to kinship but soon realised that her aunt would show the same grace and attention to everyone who came to her. She was like a mother to all, discrete, simple and humble.

Francoise Gakuba, a former colleague and friend told how she had learned so much in a short time and was helped and shaped by Inyumba’s forward vision and unencumbered optimism. Working with her from 1993 till 2003 in the Ministry of the Family, she described how the Hon Inyumba was the brain and cornerstone of the revival of the nation and had fought so hard to uplift women and take care of so many orphans. When she had met her in June 2012 and noticed that she look tired Inyumba retorted: ”Have you forgotten how I used to work? I haven’t changed.”

HE Edda Mukabagwiza gave testimony  of her experience planning and taking care of Hon. Inyumba on her visit to Canada last June. At the time she had not yet been diagnosed with throat cancer but was having difficulties speaking and swallowing, nevertheless , through her determination she delivered the keynote address to our conference on the Family in Toronto then went on to meet with  the Rwandese community of Ottawa.

Maybe some of the most moving words were given by Dr.Richard Masozera , the late Hon. Inyumba’s husband by video; “I thank God for her life, I thank God for the sixteen, almost seventeen years of a fruitful marriage. We have two wonderful children. We have so much to be thankful for, no regrets. The peace I am sensing is not given by a man, it is a peace from Heaven.”

This celebration of the 48 years of life of Aloisea Inyumba, a nation-builder, a  woman of quiet, unshakable conviction left us with the clear impression that her spirit is alive and well in the hearts of the nation she loved and all those who knew her around the world.