Ambassadors for Peace Richmond, Virginia
"The Bright Future of Africa: Peace, Progress and Prosperity in the New Millennium"
Goree African Restaurant, Richmond
December 10, 2011
Creating One Family Under God
The above topic: "The Bright Future of Africa:..." was the focus of our December meeting. The participants, which included several local Africans, were told that after all the historical sufferings that the Continent has been through, the time is near at hand when Africa will begin to experience a great and bright future. All were reminded that the blessings of individuals and nations hinged in the adherence to God's principles and standard. When they are violated, destruction and suffering ensue, but when accepted and followed, great prosperity and blessings for us and our descendants, descend from Heaven.
(Above, center) Rev. Moon in his visit to Nigeria, shakes hand with Nigeria's president, Goodluck Jonathan. (right) Rev. Hyung Jin Moon, UPF International Chairman greets Former First Lady of Nigeria, Hon. Hajiya Yar'adua.
Rev. Russell, who gave the PowerPoint presentation on the topic, said: "Africans must not dwell on the past having bitter resentment rooted in accusations, complaints and mournings, they must now seek to forgive and love and move forward into a bright future which awaits them. They must seek to find good models around the world and learn from others." South Korea, Southeast Asia's third largest economy, was cited by him as a good example. He explained that it emerged from a devastating civil war (North vs. South) in 1950, and after the deaths of about 2 million of its people, it continues to develop by leaps and bounds.
He spoke of the annual "Africa Day" event (held in New York City) which is now being promoted around the world by UPF International in conjunction with The African Union, and The Wives Association of African Ambassadors to the UN. "Africa Day" celebrates the cultures and traditions of the participating African nations, and highlights the peace and security of the Continent.
(Above) Venerable Kim, Director/founder of Cambodian Buddhist Assoc., and Mr. Jean Bosco (right photo, left), President, African Community Network, speak to audience.
There was a major focus on the visit to Africa of UPF's founders: Rev. and Mrs. Moon, in July, 2011. Rev. Moon spoke to 3,000 attendees in the International Convention Center of Abuja, Nigeria. Many prominent African leaders, Ambassadors for Peace and others were present to hear him speak on the present and future of God's providence for humankind. Following the meeting, a UPF International Leadership Conference (ILC) was conducted for AFPs and guests in Africa and from around the world. The theme of the Conference was; "Toward an Era of Universal Peace in Africa and the World."
(Above, center and right photos) Ms. Rose Ndaanee, Nigerian, receives AFP Certificate.
Some topics discussed at the ILC were: Peacebuilding in Africa; The Impact of Agriculture and Africa's Future; Interfaith Peacebuilding; Health and World Peace; Good Governance and Leadership; Africa and the World; and, Looking to the Future.
In the invitational letter to potential attendees of the local meeting, they were requested to visit the UPF International website so as to become better acquainted with the many activities of UPF in the African countries. Likewise, participants of the local event were directed to read Rev. Moon's autobiography: "As A Peace-Loving Global Citizen". In it, he offers many practical solutions to the global crises including the problems of world hunger, family breakdown and ethnic conflicts. These too afflict the African continent.
The Rountable session created an environment to discuss the effectiveness of UPF's work in Africa. In response, an excellent example of a successful UPF's peacemaking process was brought to light focussing on the Jos riots and conflicting factions in the Plateau State of Northern Nigeria.
(Click here for a brief report from UPF Today, November 2011 issue)
UPF Ambassadors for Peace were able to spearhead a victorious reconciliation effort.
It was also reported that in Rev. Moon's meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan (see photo above) he guided him:
1) To honor God, God's laws and traditions at the center of his government.
2) To channel Nigeria's national passion for religion into an asset for peace instead of division, and,
3) To support strong marriages and families so that the family system and order of his country not be eroded by secularism.
He also expressed the hope that Nigeria could become a successful model for the rest of the African nations.