News from Abroad

U N I T E D N A T I O N S N A T I O N S U N I E S

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

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MESSAGE FOR INTERFAITH HARMONY WEEK

New York, 1 February 2013

For billions of people around the world, faith is an essential foundation of life.

It provides strength in times of difficulty and an important sense of community. The vast

majority of people of faith live in harmony with their neighbours, whatever their creed,

but each religion also harbours a strident minority prepared to assert fundamentalist

doctrines through bigotry and extreme violence.

These acts are an affront to the heritage and teachings of all major religions. They

also contravene the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which affirms the right of all

to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. It is imperative that the moderate

majority is empowered to stand firm against the forces of extremism. But, this can only

be achieved through strong leadership.

Next month at its forum in Vienna, the Alliance of Civilizations will continue its

efforts to unite faiths and cultures. Whether on the world stage or in their communities,

religious and cultural leaders have a responsibility to speak the language of tolerance and

respect. This is a central message of World Interfaith Harmony Week.

We must also reach out to young people with a message of hope. Too often

marginalized, jobless and facing a future of uncertainty, youth can be easy prey for

fanatics offering a sense of cause and community. We need to expose the invalidity of

this lure and offer a compelling alternative.

This cannot be achieved by words alone. Young people need jobs and a

meaningful stake in a future that they can believe in. The United Nations is currently

engaged in defining a post-2015 sustainable development agenda. Our goal is to

eradicate extreme poverty in our lifetime and promote equitable economic opportunity

for all while protecting the environment. To do that, we need the engagement of all

actors – including young people and communities of faith.

We live in times of turmoil and transformation – economic, environmental,

demographic and political. These transitions bring both hope and uncertainty. Our job is

to ensure that hope wins, and our task will be made easier if the followers of all faiths

collaborate in common cause. Let us never forget that what divides us is minuscule

compared with what unites us. Working together, we can achieve all our goals for peace,

prosperity and physical and spiritual well-being.

From Pakistan

 

 

Rashad Javed,Chairman of Hope Development Organization

(See Biogrophy on
Join our Team page)

Peace Youth Group Faisalbad Pakistan  Nov. 28, 2009

 

In November of 2009 we began an ambitious peace effort entirely without funding.  The Faisalabad Peace Youth Group Boy’s Wing is the first of such youth groups dedicated to peace.  The vision behind this group is to create a peaceful world and teach tolerance and acceptance and to make them feel loved.  We want the enthusiasm which these boys have to spread to other cities and villages in Pakistan, and then to Afghanistan and India also.

Nov. 20, 2009

Greetings to you in the name of our Lord and His son Jesus Christ. It’s good to hear from you, and I am grateful that you take time to write me back. You touch a very sensitive place in my heart. I wish we could expand our peace project to Afghanistan and India, even to Iran, to reach the unreached, to show them that Jesus and his peace really matter.

When I was in Greece with the merchant navy several years ago, I worked with many Indians and I know how to convince and handle these people. People from Afghanistan are ignored. Nobody goes there to teach them the word and to make them feel special, so wrong people reach them first and use them in wrong ways. But I believe it is not too late; we still can bring change.

Samething bad happens in our country, in Wezeristan, where our government ignores those people, and they don’t even have the very basic necessities of life—no education, no spiritual nourishment, no guidance for peace. So the Taliban reaches them and takes them to their side. Now our government complains, spending too much money and resources, and army operations. War is not a solution. The money the world spends on war, if they use 10% of it on NGOs to spread education, micro financing, peace and acceptance, things could be different now.

Brother, I know many good people and groups in India, many of them worked with me on ships, and we know and trust each other because we meet and work together in person. We can find peacefull groups in Afghanistan also. We can spread our peace project and activities there.

Me and my group are ready for that. All we need is more resources. We have been doing our efforts since 1997, and we never received proper funding for our work. We are running it by small local donations and community participations, every month we get worried for our administrative cost. But we never give up, and we still believe we have an awesome God, and he will do big things. I could handle all if I have your back up, and I will never let your head down; you have my word.

I do understand this will be very big responsibility and I am ready for that because I am devoted to global peace. I am glad some one understands that these three countries are very important for peace efforts. Everything starts and ends over here.

Again I am grateful to you and to your friends in Washington DC for your love, prayers and kind concern. May God bless you more and make you channel of blessings to many.
Regards, love and peace.
Rashad.
Chairman: Hope development organization.
Email: [email protected]

Nov. 2, 2009

Today two bomb blast happen here. In two different places. I was present on one. And I was lucky I reach there after 10 minutes with Dr. matoo. And I saw human body parts on road. I never understand what wrong we did. Why innocent people get target. More then 50 people die there. Mean 50 families destroy. Their families and kids where crying for them there. My , mind, body and soul is really hurt bad.
I could not do any thing for them and I complain I work for peace.
I don’t know what to say more.

From Uganda

 

 

Olive jonied the African Prisons Project as a volunteer, because of her love and passion to work for organisations that stood for the vulnearble persons (Please visit our website on www.africanprisons.org)

 

 

Olive is currently working on projects to help the women inmate acquire skill. Olive is heading an intended project called the Prison School of Art Education program in collaboration with the mothers of hope, The School of Art project involves the creation of works of beauty through application of skills resulting from regular practice taken as a technique in the use of hands. The project is a basic skills programme that strives to give hope and aid in the rehabilitation of prisons inmates and stimulate practical skills with view to prepare them better for success upon released from prisons. using the acquired skills to meet life challenges.

The crafts and the knitting projects are intended to cover most of the women prisons in the country. Olive has developed a proposal hoping for prospective funders. We intend to start off with the neating project in Luzira women prisons after two volunteers - Wilderman and Bea have promised to fundraise for this project - (see www.wilderman.eu/oeganda)

Olive will be starting an online course under the iLEARN projects on as a teacher hoping to get more involved with children living with their mothers in prisons (see www.media.iearn.org)

Olive will  also be helping out in the Bible study project that is also an initiative by Bea

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