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Posts Tagged ‘dialogue’

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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Women Initiating Change: The Strength of the Outsider by Kat Callo

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on March 15, 2010

Women Initiating Change: The Strength of the Outsider

By Kat Callo, Trustee of Project Mosaic

www.projectmosaic.net / kat.callo@projectmosaic.net

Thank you for inviting me to take part in this event for the United Nations’ International Day of Women – on the subject of celebrating the achievements of women. How fitting to celebrate this on Mother’s Day. May I first wish to all Mums a very Happy Mother’s Day!

I am a little person, involved in a small and modest initiative called Project Mosaic. This is a UK-based educational charity that helps teach young people to be more tolerant of those coming from a different background – whether that’s a different race, ethnicity, religion, nationality or culture.

One of our projects, the Global Citizen programme, sends successful people from immigrant backgrounds to give inspiring talks to disadvantaged children and young adults. Each “Global Citizen” speaker focuses on two themes. The first is to give practical advice about job hunting, higher education, developing a career and getting better connected into mainstream society. The second theme is identity and tolerance, with a look in particular at how the multiple identities enable us to make a richer contribution to society.

Our Global Citizen speakers are teaching young people how to transform an identity as “an outsider” into a powerful tool for self improvement, community service and nation building.

We all have felt, at some point in our lives, like an outsider. People from immigrant backgrounds can feel they are living on the edge within their new country. Poverty makes people feel like marginalised, left out. Women working in a predominantly male industry can feel like outsiders. Being an outsider can be lonely – but it can also be liberating.

Violent extremism also plays on the theme of  “the outsider” – but it combines it with fear and ignorance, to creates a poisonous cocktail for our young people. Sadly, it’s a type of poison that is contagious, since prejudice by one group can so easily trigger prejudice by another. After the attacks of 9-11, many Americans concluded that Muslims as a group hated Americans and wanted to kill Americans. At Project Mosaic we are working with Muslim friends in the UK, the U.S., the Middle East, Asia and elsewhere to move beyond the fear and ignorance, and break the vicious cycle of group hatred. That’s just one conversation that needs changing. There are so many others.

Read the rest of this entry »

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