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Africa Day

Africa Day Observed in Switzerland

Switzerland-2015-05-25-Africa Day Observed in Switzerland

Bern, Switzerland—Africa’s contributions to world peace were the focus of UPF-Switzerland’s commemoration of Africa Day.

About 100 persons attended the event on May 25, 2015, which UPF organized together with the non-profit groups Swiss-Exile, Council of the African Diaspora in Switzerland, Youth for Human Rights, the Swiss African Forum and Women's Federation for World Peace.

Johnson Belangenyi and Gabriella Día of Swiss-Exile were the MCs for the event, which started with entertainment from Africa as well as the host country. This was followed by Chantal Chételat Komagata, secretary general of UPF-Switzerland, who gave a presentation on “The Heritage of African Culture in Peace Promotion.”

She reminded all that, according to African traditional religion, “entering the hut seals the marriage” and emphasized the importance of cultivating the original culture of heart, carried deeply in every person’s conscience, which can truly contribute to peace.

Gerry Abrahamse, representing Youth for Human Rights, read a long list of all the great people and amazing discoveries originating in Africa.

Johnson Belangenyi and Gerry Abrahamse also took part in a sketch with Omar and Margaret portraying two young Swiss people of African descent. The young people asked questions about Africa such as “Why is Africa so poor?” The performance was meant to last only 15 minutes but ended up arousing deep emotional reactions from the audience, who felt they needed to teach the youth the “truth about Africa.”

Salome Lehmann of Swiss-Exile then introduced a panel discussion of representatives of five faiths: Imam Abdullah (Islam), Tharnan Selliah (Hinduism), Kim Luzubu (Christianity), Pat Santschi (Ajere African Heritage) and Cathlene Dumas (WAIT Youth Ministry). They expressed their views in three different languages on the topic “How Can My Spirituality Contribute to World Peace?” Celeste Dozie Ugochukwu of the African Council moderated the panel, summarized the ideas and emphasized the essence of each panelist’s message: Each human being needs to develop his or her spirituality in order to bring peace. 

Pictures: Michel Reymond

 

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