Fiji: Inauguration of IAPP
Prepared by UPF Fiji
On May 20, 2017, Universal Peace Federation, UPF Fiji in conjunction with Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) and in partnership with Shree Saraswati Ramayan Mandali, held the Inauguration of IAPP Fiji on the occasion of United Nations International Day of Families 2017. The programme was divided into two parts. The first part was the Value Education Symposium and the second part was the Celebration of UN Family Day and Inauguration of IAPP in Fiji.
Manoa Senikarawa, CEO National Substance Abuse Advisory Council representing the Minister of Education Dr Mahendra Reddy, was the chief guest for the first part of the programme. In his opening remarks he focused on Character Education-Behaviour of students in schools and about the need to reach out to the schools and students. Mr Seninkarawa conveyed that the Minister of Education, Dr Mahendra Reddy, has emphasised 4 pillars of parental engagement, illustrating that primary school teachers work tirelessly to instil discipline in children, so teachers are now encouraged to reach out to the parents. He concluded with showing his gratitude for the IAPP seminar saying that these sessions will empower us to become well equipped in reaching out to parents.
The keynote speaker of the programme was Mr. Enrique Ledesma. He gave a presentation for one and half hours on the importance of values/character education in the school system and why we need to cultivate the human heart. He spoke on the priority to educate the human character, illustrating that despite our long human history and high intellectual accomplishments, millions have died in world wars. From this evidence it is crucial that we educate good, responsible and loving citizens rather than merely technically capable people. Mr Ledesma also touched upon the family crisis in Fiji in which data shows that Fiji has one of the highest levels of domestic violence in the world, also very high youth issues, such as high STDs rates, criminal activities, drugs, pregnancies, surrogate families and school problems. The presentation was comprised of 3 parts: The priority of Educating for Character; Universal Values; and achieving a Balanced Education. Mr Ledesma concluded with the message that just as human beings have a mind and body, education should have two dimensions: education for the character and education for career. UPF proposes this is done based on universal values to correct the focus on a values-neutral perspective. The key is education of character based on cultivation of heart and true love, secondly education of norms and thirdly education for mastery.
There were three commentators in the first session. The first commentator was Timoci Vosailagi, Principal of William Cross College, who commended the speakers on the information shared expressing that this information will be a catalyst to bring about changes in the way teachers handle students. He further pointed on the priority of education of character which aims at teachers to be good role models. Teachers good character on a daily basis will automatically instil good character in the children.
Mr. Rajendra Vishnu Kumar, PEO Ministry of Education Fiji, was the second commentator and he gave thanks and appreciation to the presenters for the special values education for teachers. He shared that the role of the teacher is not only the delivery of the core curriculum but also to train the hearts and minds of the younger generations. Mr Kumar emphasised that there are many distractions for the students today so as teachers we need to be good role models, illustrating that teachers need to reflect about the code of conduct at all times since the society is watching 24/7. Teachers are judged at all times, so we need to remind ourselves of the moral values. Our school should offer good character education.
The third commenter was Mr Wasu Deo, General Secretary UPF and Principal of the Saraswati College. He reported on the programmes that UPF are conducting on the National Level and the positive impact the Value Education tour is making in the schools of Fiji.
Hon. Mohammed Dean the Member of Parliament closed the session by giving thanks and appreciation to UPF international for the good work that is being conducted. He highlighted the important points that have been made by the teachers and the various presenters. He concluded with UPf’s simple message of humanity and love and that the definitions of love and humanity in all religion is a unique tool used by UPF.
Mr, Wasu Deo the Secratery General of the UPF Fiji was the Master of Ceremony for the second part of the programme themed: “The UN International Family Day Celebration & International Associations of Parliamentarians for Peace”. The programme started with special prayers by representatives of the major religions, which is the common practice of UPF and affiliated organizations in Fiji. Opening Remarks were given by Ratu Filimoni Ralogivau, the President of UPF Fiji. He spoke on Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s contribution and acknowledgement on peace making. He shared that Dr. Moon focused on bringing people together and his work involved the unification of all humanity.
Mr Enrique Ledesma, UPF lecturer on Family and Peace Education, gave a presentation titled ‘The Family is the School of Love’ which covered the natural order of the family, the four spheres of love, family and society and the importance of celebrating the UN Family Day.
Hon. Netani Rika, Chairperson for Standing Committee Foreign Affairs and Defence & Deputy Whip of the Fiji First Party in the Fijian Parliament Republic of Fiji Island, came to the podium with a mission to make a proposal for the establishment of IAPP in Fiji and to propose that Hon. Iliesa Delana become the President of IAPP in Fiji. He started his speech by reciting a poetry of Father Moon called the Crown of Glory. He then shared his experience of participating in True Parents Birth Day celebrations and the IAPP Global Inauguration in South Korea earlier this year. He saluted Father Moon for the suffering life he walked all his life, for the sake of all humanity. Later, Hon. Netani rika moved a proposal of IAPP in Fiji and the motion was seconded by Hon Dr Brij Lal, the Member Parliament of Fiji. Hon Iliesa Delana, the President of IAPP Fiji, received the Appointment Certificate from Dr Chang Sik Yang and signed the IAPP deceleration before he started his acceptance speech. During his speech, Chair IAPP Hon Iliasa Delana focused on the main responsibility of Parliamentarians as the servant of the country and its people. He augured that everyone needs to live for the sake of the country. Hon. Delana is a Gold Medallist in Paralympic 2010 in England. Currently he is an Assistant Minister for Youth and Sport of Fiji Government. He is seen as a hero and role model for the youth of Fiji.
The session concluded with Mr.Sat Narayan, the President of Shree Saraswati Ramayan Mandali, a partner organization of FFWPU and affiliated organization in Fiji, happily announcing the Happy Family Award ceremony. Happy Family Award Ceremony was the highlight of the programme and is a major tool to educate the people on the importance of married life and family. Four couples were recognized as happily married couples. Dr. Chang Sik Yang , the General Secretary of UPF International, and Deputy Speaker of the Fijian Parliament jointly gave the award to the following couples:
- Rocky Fatiaki married for 40 years
- Mohammed Sanamulla Khan 59 years
- Tevita & Loraini Ba married for 46 years
- Mrs John Mahadeo married 60 years
The event was attended by Parliamentarians from major Political parties of Fiji to congratulate the newly established IAPP with its newly appointed President Hon. Iliesa Delana, as well as the new project of UPF Fiji and to congratulate the 4 couples who received the award. Among them were Hon. Professor Biman Prasad, the President of National Federation party and a prominent parliamentarian. He congratulated Hon. Delana on his chairmanship of IAPP and shared that “Family is a school in which we learn moral values and Families teach us to endure other turbulences”. He also congratulated the awarded couples.
Hon. Veena Bhatnagar, the Assistant Minister for Women, Children and poverty alleviation, acknowledged and gave congratulatory remarks to Hon. Iliesa Delana and all the 4 couples who had been awarded. She spoke on family unity, definition of family, and 15th of May marking the International day of families. The Theme of 2017 is “Families education and wellbeing”. Family involvement is important, parental involvement is important and children need to respect the elderly. Everything is done to ensure that families live together. She shared that 139 children are under social welfare care and 124 elders are in old aged homes. We need to care for the elderly and disabled members. Families are like branches who belong to the same root.
Rev Yoo Jong Deug, Chair of UPF Oceania, thanked and appreciated the participation of all present at the inauguration. He gave special appreciation to Hon Delana for accepting the chairpersonship of UPF Fiji Chapter and also to the 4 awarded couples of the Happy Family Awards. He then introduced Chang Sik Yang, Secretary General of UPF International, sharing that Dr Yang Travelled to Fiji to give the Keynote speech representing True Parents. During his speech Dr Yang spoke on the Vision, mission and activities of UPF and IAPP centring on the educational and Peace Philosophy of the late Rev Sun Myung Moon. Furthermore he spoke on how Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon is carrying out the works initiated by her late husband. He spoke about the importance of Able UN and Mother Moon’s initiation to develop the IAPP Chapter in more than 120 nations worldwide.
Chief Guest Hon. Rupeni Nadalo, Deputy Speaker Parliament for Fiji, spoke on the theme “Strong marriages and loving families make up a good society”. He Shared that all religions recognise marriage and IAPP has been launched as a worldwide association with a forum that will have the capacity to solve the world’s problems. He went on to express IAPP promotes one human family under God and gave thanks and appreciation to all the participants for making the IAPP inauguration a grand success.
Prior to the programme Oceania Continental Director Rev. Yoo Jong Deug and International UPF Secretary general Dr Chang Sik Yang, met the Former Prime Minister of Fiji, Mr. Sitiveni Rabuka and the Speaker of the House Dr. Jiko Luveni. Dr Luvenia apologized for not being able to participate in the inauguration due to health reasons and sent her good wishes for the successful lunching of IAPP in Fiji, promising to support the activities of IAPP as the Speaker of the House in the Fijian Parliament.
The major personalities present at the conference included: Deputy Speaker of the house representing the Hon Speaker as the Chief Guest; Former PM Hon Steveni Rabuka; 11 current Parliamentarians; 5 Former Parliamentarians; Diplomats; High level Government Officers; High School Principals and Teachers; Ambassadors for Peace; leaders of Civil Society; and members of FFWPU, WFWP and UPF.