Belgium: Nepal and Women Empowerment


By Colette Cunningham, WFWP Belgium

On June 24th, the Belgian Women’s Federation for World Peace had the pleasure of staging an event focusing on Nepal, the country renowned as being the roof of the world, at the Brussels UPF HQ. Among the thirty odd participants, the event was notably attended by the Nepalese Benelux ambassador, Mr. Lok Bahadur Thapa, together with his secretary from the Embassy of Nepal in Brussels. During the course of his short opening remarks Ambassador Thapa emphasized the importance of the empowerment of women through education, employment and entrepreneurship while pointing out that women in Nepal now held 30% representation in the government as well as other important prominent positions in Nepalese society.

After his warm hearted and upbeat opening remarks, the program continued with a very inspiring and even tear provoking forty-minute film on a young Nepalese village girl, Mira, who has currently risen to become a world recognized champion mountain runner covering distances of up to 120 kilometers.

After this beautiful short movie on Mira the audience was then treated to some touching heartfelt personal reflections and photographs from recently appointed Belgian ambassador for peace, Mrs. Nathalie Pollin, who shared the essence of her two spiritually motivated visits to Nepal in 2016, and as recently as April 2017. Mrs. Pollin firstly explained that the common Nepalese greeting ‘Namaste’ signifies “I see the Divine in you” or “my soul greets your soul” or “I salute the light, love, beauty and peace, as all these are in you”. She pointed out that Lumbini, Nepal is the birthplace of Buddha. She experienced that the Nepalese people have a great sense of welcome, a very peaceful spirit, a love for harmony and a huge smile on the inside.

She finally said that while there she could learn deeply the meaning of the words “patience” and “acceptation” as things are not as instant or automatic as here in the west. Belgian Women’s Federation President, Mrs Colette Cunningham, then wrapped the programme up by inviting Ambassador Thapa and all in attendance to enjoy some tasty curry, drinks and snacks. This provided a nice opportunity for further sharing and for admiring another beautiful and sensitive selection of photos from Nepal from Mrs Pollin which were displayed on the walls.

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