UK: Freshers Convention 2017
By CARP UK, Jeungsun Shongwe
We got off to a quite start. The weather in Central London was warm and sunny, with clear blue skies, the perfect back-drop for the day.
Two young Chinese ladies, studying at Queen Mary’s University of London who were frequent attendees of the CARP Talks last year, entered the room along with several other young people studying and working in London. Everyone sat down eager to see how the day unfolded.
Guests were welcomed to light refreshments as Jeungsun Shongwe gave the first talk of the day: an introduction to CARP’s purpose, goals, its history and background based on the Unification Principles (Divine Principle). It was beneficial to hear a brief intro as well as to refresh our memory of the mission statement and the 7 core principles of CARP.
The audience was made up of a mixture of graduate and undergraduate students, old friends of the committee, new found friends from various places in life and young people who are working and doing full-time volunteering work. The room began to fill with new faces and friends.
Introduced to the stage by MC, Carmel Mould, the second talk was a testimony shared by Yi-Ping Zhou, a Chinese student introduced to CARP by Michael Schroder and Jeungsun Shongwe in 2015. Yi-Ping studies economics at Queen Mary’s. She spoke briefly and frankly about how challenging her first weeks living in London were. It was a daunting experience. CARP has allowed her to gain more self-confidence and form deeper friendships, and the activities have allowed Yi-Ping to now feel that she belongs to a community. She also feels free to explore her new-found relationship with God, through studying the Divine Principle.
As the day went on, we indulged in lunch and dinner, happily prepared by Amy Brown, Elna-Marie Fortune and Han-sun Nkumu.
Howard Miller, recent Imperial College graduate, spoke about the learning curve of University in light of his recent experiences in ‘Life beyond University’. Ruth Johnson, an Art school graduate, shared her fascinating and relatable ways of getting through the challenges students confront during university.
Ending the talks for the day, William Haines gave an in-depth account of his experiences in University basing his talk around science and religion. The Divine Principle allowed him to grasp the meaning of life and live a life of purpose, whilst pursuing his academic career. William Haines related science and religion to the changing system of the world, how that mirrors university campus life and how it has evolved over the years.
As well as sharing incredible practical knowledge, the speakers did an amazing job of conveying how the core Principles have played a part in developing certain aspects of their lives, making this a very relatable event for all young people – whether they be University students or not.
The day ended with dancing, games and socialising. A great way to start the new academic season, wetting our appetites for CARP UK 2016-2017.