United Kingdom: UN International Day of Families 2016

Families, Healthy Lives and Sustainable Future

By UPF UK: This day reflects the importance that international communities attach to families”, stated Annerose Adams as she opened the joint conference held by the South London branches of the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) and Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP) to mark the United Nations (UN) Day of Families (on May 14, 2016). An audience of over 60 participants gathered at the Peace Embassy, Thornton Heath, to listen to speaker presentations and conduct a dialogue related to the theme adopted by the UN for this year’s observance – “Families, Healthy Lives and Sustainable Future”.

Frederick Clarke, as the first presenter, introduced the ground-breaking work of his organization, Mighty Men of Valour, in supporting the involvement of fathers in raising children as well as key campaigns such as “Fathers for Life” and “Your Sperm – Your Responsibility”. Rokhsana Umar, a qualified pathology biomedical scientist, then spoke from her wide-ranging experience of family life, declaring: “As mothers we can make or break a family so my motto is love not war.” Likewise, the third speaker, Asha Singh, emphasized parents’ vital responsibility to nurture children to guide them along the right path.

Lastly, Tim Read, former chair of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU), described how the family truly is a school of love, affirming that “The family ties together the past, present and future…it ties together all the different types of love.”

Following the speaker presentations, Ambassador for Peace awards were presented to four deserved recipients, Rokhsana Umar, Asha Singh, Narinder Kaur Rehal and Paul Macey, who each have exemplified the standard of living for the sake of others through their efforts in serving the local community and supporting various charities.

The final part of the program featured the audience dividing into four discussion groups, each of which addressed different questions related to the sustainability of the family institution, culture, traditions and health. The summary reports revealed that various themes emerged as the groups engaged in animated debate, including the value of the extended family in passing on a culture of service, offering acceptance and security within the family, and the role of teamwork in sustaining the modern family. The event concluded with a lovely sandwich buffet and an opportunity for the participants to share their friendship and experiences over refreshments.