Zambia: Youth Peace CUP and Interfaith Peace Blessing
by Fabrice Djimadoum, UPF Zambia
The Universal Peace Federation (UPF) in conjunction with the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace, Zambia chapter held a series of Peace Cup and Interfaith Peace Blessing in 6 different constituencies. So far the areas which have held these tournaments are: Katuba in Central province, Lwangwa in Lusaka province, Kaoma and Kyoma in western province and Gwembe in southern province. This is the ongoing tournaments in other constituencies. so far 6 constituencies held the youth Peace Cup.
With the blessing of the Africa Group Chair, Rev. Bakary Camara emphasized that before the finale of the Peace Cup takes place, our members from FFWPU should take the opportunity to conduct the Peace Blessing of which a goal of 12 couples per each area where the tournament takes place and so far we have blessed a total of 89 couples in the area where the tournaments have taken place.
Before the Peace Blessing couples received the education on family values and strengthening of the marriages and at the end of the lecture on five steps of the blessing were taught and couples lined up to receive the blessing.
Zambia is a soccer loving nation and, soccer attracts huge crowds of supports wherever it being played. E.g in 2012 when Zambia won the Africa Cup of Nation, the Republican President even declared 3 days of holidays to celebrate the victory and the whole nation was in celebration.
Therefore, the imitative for Peace Cup tournament brought a lot of joy in the country sides of Zambia where they were taken place with big crowds in attendance numbering in thousands, and coming from far places with bicycles or motorbike, in the open vans and some walking from long distances. In many of these areas, the tournament began 3 to 6 months earlier on knock out basis, and there were committees which were in charge of the tournament who worked in conjunction with members of parliament, to see that the tournament succeeds.
The finals had four teams for boys and four teams for girls (netball).
In attendance, the government was represented by the District commissioners, also the areas Members of Parliament and other government officials as well, Traditional leaders and Religious leaders.
Since in Zambia, we are experiencing rains during this period, the teams braved the rains and even played under water logged condition without stopping. That added more excitements to the supporters.
“we never such gatherings of youths in our area, we thanked UPF and FFWPU for this initiative and wish they should organize this tournament every year” said the Nyimba District Commissioner.
The final cups were played and witnessed by of areas Members of Parliament, Councilors, Traditional Leaders, Government representatives by District commissioners, and other important dignitaries. At the end of the tournament, a representative from UPF or FFWPU were called to give a speech. During their speeches, they emphasized to the youth to uphold the standard of good moral, purity and introduced UPF and FFWPU activities and the True Parents’ vision for World Peace.
The area Members of parliament, the main organizers of the tournament have also given speeches. In their address to the you, they thanked the UPF and FFWPU for the support of the tournament and urged them to continue to share with you the message of peace.
During award ceremony, prices were also given to the best players, goal keepers, referees to encourage them to do more.
Youths were excited during the competitions with cheers for their preferred teams. Youths came from long distance, some by feet, some others by bicycles or open trucks to played or to give supports to their teams. Also, some games were played during heavy rains which never stop the games to go on. In each event around 200 to 500 young people adults attended the games. And over 24 teams competed during the tournaments.
The organizers of the tournaments were very happy with the support received from UPF/FFWPU and expressed that it should not be a one time event, but hope that it continue so that young people can be made busy and abstain from immoral activities and become good citizen.
In most of the areas, the tournaments and the interfaith Peace Blessing were covered by major media houses such Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) public national television station, Zambia National Information Services which a government media agency as well local radio stations. At the end, soccer players, couples and UPF/FFWPU representatives were interviewed.