The Netherlands: Peace Road 2018
By Hans Campman, UPF the Netherlands
We did the Peace March in two cities: Nijmegen and The Hague on two consecutive Sundays (Sept. 23d and September 30th). Both walks were about 4 km.
In Nijmegen we marched together with the “Council of World Views and Religions” of which 20 organizations are part. 30 of our Dutch members participated; we were joined by 10 brothers and sisters from Germany. As it was a rainy day, we walked through the town with our umbrella’s. A number of people who had applied for the walk had not turned up. Through this, we as UPF (and WFWP) came to be a substantial part of the group.
During the march we visited different places of charity. One of these was a place where special care was given to homeless people in a way as to enable them to find “peace in them selves”. At one location during the march, various organizations presented their vision for peace through a speech. Our message of Peace Road was given by one of our 2nd gens, who spoke with clarity and enthusiasm. At the final location, a community centre, our members surprised the crowd by singing “you are my sunshine”. This didn’t just brighten up the hearts of the people, but it actually chased away the rain so that the march ended in sunshine. The best result of the action was that it brought us closer to our partner, the Council of World Views and Religions, and the many organizations connected to it. We are very grateful to our German brothers and sisters from the Düsseldorf region, which borders the Netherlands. Their support was most precious. The Dutch- German cooperation added an important dimension to the action.
In The Hague we joined the Gandhi Walk for Non-violence. It was organized by the Hindu society in The Hague. (The Hague is called the “Hindu capital of the European continent”).
We had been invited to participate by our precious Peace Ambassador pandit Tewarie. As the pandit of the beautiful Sewa Dhaam Temple he is leading one of the largest Hindu communities in the city. Pandit Tewarie has been a great admirer of True Parents since many years. He had attended the ILC in Korea at the time of TF’s Seunghwa commemoration in August this year. We, members of UPF and WFWP, along with a group of some 500 people, did the march from the iconic
Peace Palace to the “Grote Kerk”(= Big Church). Among those walking the march were not only Hindu’s but many other supporters of the cause of peace and non-violence. Pandit Tewarie insisted on wearing the Peace Road shirt during the walk, and several of his community did the same. The walk presented an interesting mixture of Ghandi Non-violence T-shirts and Peace Road T-shirts. Our large Peace Road banner was carried by a mixed group of people, at the very front of the procession.
In the church there was a program of speeches, song and dance. Among the speakers there were several significant VIPs, such as ambassadors of India, Indonesia and United States, as well as Afghanistan and Bangladesh, and the deputy mayor of The Hague. Pandit Tewarie, as one leading Hindu in the city, has connections with many such dignitaries. Pandit wishes to help us to promote UPF and WFWP to them. We had the opportunity to meet some of them and connect them to our network. By linking more strongly to the Hindu community, we hope to reach out to channels on the highest level.
All of our participants have been filled with the desire to return happiness to Our True Mother, which made both campaigns successful. The achievement of the Peace Road action in The Hague was similar to the one in Nijmegen. We managed to strengthen our bond with good partners.