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Archive for May, 2010

Waste Management for Sustainable Communities June 4th, 2010

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on May 30, 2010

Presentation to be made by David Fairbank at the UPF-UK Commemoration of  World Environment Day 2010.


World Environment Day 2010

6:30 pm Refreshments,  7:00 pm Programme Begins,  4th June 2010*  43 Lancaster Gate, London, W2 3NA

Lawrence Bloom: “The most elegant challenge the universe could throw at humankind”

United Nations Environment Programme Chair of Green Economy Initiative

Murad Qureshi AM:  Former Chair of Environment Committee for Greater London Authority

*World Environment Day is on 5th June each year – for scheduling reasons we will have the commemoration on the 4th of June.

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International Family Day 2010 – Impact of Migration on Families

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on May 30, 2010

‘What does it feel like to be a migrant or growing up in a migrant family? The impact of migration on families was the theme for the United Nations International Day of Families 2010 that was commemorated around the world by many chapters of the Universal Peace Federation. In Bromley, near London, several people who either were migrants or who are from migrant families, spoke on fairly similar themes about their experiences.’

‘I hate to see wasted talent.’ Was the first comment of Sheridan Mangal. He went to explain that he mentors 6 young boys from disadvantaged backgrounds from ethnic minorities in the UK. His motivation for this came from his father and mother who came from the Caribbean to the UK in the early 1950’s. They came for the economic opportunity with the attitude that the UK as the motherland was doing them a favour. It was a difficult course for them as a couple and later us as a whole family because they were people with talent and willing to work hard. Soon they were faced with resentment and bitterness from the indigenous workers as they were given greater responsibilities.

His house was always crowded with family members who followed them to the UK. His parents helped many close relatives to establish themselves in the UK. This led to some tensions as some paid rent regularly but others did not. His parent’s attitude was to keep their heads down and work hard. They encouraged him to do the same and try to get a Government job. However, he grew up here mixing with British children who were encouraged to reach for the stars. He did not understand why he should keep his head down and did not feel that the UK was doing him a favour. He saw that his parents had made an immense contribution through taxes and later by employing others.

Rohema Miah was one of six children who grew up in the UK. Their father is from Bangladesh and their mother is Welsh. Their father did not return to Bangladesh for 42 years but sent money back to support the family. The main route for Bangladeshis in the UK is through restaurant ownership. This has contributed £1.2bn per year to the British economy.

She added that their parents never imposed a religion on them. They were allowed to make their own choice and despite making different choices they have remained close as brothers and sisters.

Posted in Community Cohesion, Marriage and Family | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

UPF Statement on Africa Day 2010

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on May 24, 2010

On the occasion of Africa Day, May 25th, 2010, the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) extends its congratulations and best wishes to the African Union and all its member states, and the 900 million people of Africa. As well as celebration, Africa Day is an opportunity to reflect on the challenges and opportunities facing Africa and the world as we move into the second decade of this new millennium.

UPF is working through its chapters worldwide to promote dialogue and cooperation among religions, including the creation of an interreligious council at the United Nations; strengthen marriage and family, essential to end the scourges of poverty and AIDS; and promote service and good-will projects in and between nations to establish a culture of peace.

The UPF is committed to promoting peace and human development in all parts of the world. We are proud of our chapters throughout Africa — from the West to the East, from the North to the South — brothers and sisters who are working to build a world of lasting peace and help achieve the MDGs. We applaud the African Union for focusing on “peace and security in Africa” and we look forward to exploring the ways in which we can support its work, along with the United Nations, toward a world of peace and prosperity for all.

Africa Day 2010 will focus on “Peace and Security in Africa”. This year, the New York celebration will be a culinary and cultural exhibition of the rich diversity of the African continent. It will also mark the launching of a number of water treatment projects for Africa. The Universal Peace Federation (UPF) is being called upon by the African Union to assist in co-hosting the celebration in partnership with the United Nations African Ambassador’s Spouses Group (UNAASG).

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Observing UN International Families Day 2010

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on May 21, 2010

The Impact of Migration on Families Worldwide

By Sister Kate Holmstrom

Bonjour! Buenos dias! Dzen dobre! Al-salam al-lekum! Namaste! Jambo! Nee ha!

An event focussing on Families and Migration gathered about 35 people at the Quaker Centre, Milton Keynes, on 15 May, observing UN International Day of Families 2010, at the invitation of Christa Rennie of the WFWP (Women’s Federation for World Peace) and her husband David, of the Universal Peace Federation. Navrita Atwal from the MK Equality Council spoke on “Family Values from an Asian Perspective”, Ayser Ali on “The Journey of a Family from Iraq to the West”, I (Sr Kate) on my experience with refugee and immigrant families in London, Milton Keynes and Yarls Wood Immigration Removal Centre, and David on the “Vision of the Universal Peace Federation”.

Between us, we made the following points: Migrating can be a huge gift, promoting openness to other cultures and the enrichment of learning other languages. “Home is wherever the family is”. However, moving can also be de-stabilising, and come at a bad age such as adolescence, when friends are all-important. Despite lessons in their mother language and the support of their ethnic or religious community, it happens sometimes that youngsters grow up feeling neither totally integrated in the new country nor accepted in their country of origin if they return there. The importance of family meals was stressed: parents – particularly from cultures where eating together is taken for granted and seen as a significant family value encouraging respect and caring – have difficulty sometimes in gathering the children when there is competition from other activities. Keeping in touch physically can be problematic as the family members grow up and move away: “Why should I need to make the journey back to visit when we can speak on the phone and even see each other with the web-cam?” If the migrant parents cannot learn English as fast as their offspring certainly will do, there is the risk of a widening rift in understanding in the family.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Refugee Child by Sister Kate Holmstrom

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on May 20, 2010

Refugee Child by Sister Kate Holmstrom


I feel Mum’s worry, sense her sadness.

Where’s my Dad? She’s never said,

Never told me of the madness,

Of the reason why we fled.

I remember that night, hiding

While the soldiers searched and swore,

Shouting that they’d surely find him,

Battering upon the door.

I could hear my mother screaming

As those soldiers laughed and jeered.

I heard: “Rape!” –  what is its meaning?

Was that what she’d so much feared?

Now we’re here. I speak your language,

But the nightmares haunt me still.

Life goes on … we have to manage.

This I’ve learnt: I’ll never kill.


Kate Holmstrom, Oxford


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