Promoting Family Values in Russia
Written by UPF - Russia
Saturday, October 29, 2011
As part of UPF's Marriage and Family Initiative, UPF chapters in Novosibirsk, Ryazan, and St. Petersburg, Russia, organized programs in October related to marriage and family.
St. Petersburg - A seminar on “The Realm of Family Values and Traditions” took place in St. Petersburg on October 23. Eco-sociologist Irina Viktorovna Kazantseva, a Ph.D. in biological sciences and associate professor of preschool and primary education at the Post-graduate Pedagogical Education Academy, gave a series of lectures. Among the participants were young couples who wished to create happy, stable families and were looking for new information.
Ryazan - The regular meeting of Ambassadors for Peace on October 24 featured reports about various activities of UPF-Russia and Ambassadors for Peace. It concluded with a call to strengthen families.
Novosibirsk - The Universal Peace Federation together with the Women’s Initiative Creative Association organized a public forum on “Marriage and Family as a School of Love for Human Development.” The event was attended by 52 representatives of grassroots organizations, among them: Moral Russia, a grassroots movement; CARP, a youth movement; Sober City, an information and methods center; Criminon Novosibirsk; Creating and Preserving Families Association; and the Russian National Academy of Management and Cardinal Psychology.
According to local statistics, as of May 27, 2011, eight out of ten marriages end in divorce. The total number of broken marriages increased by 5.8% in comparison to last year.
The forum included three round-table discussions about what is needed for teachers, social workers, grassroots organizations, and state organizations to successfully work with the young generation in order to overcome the pernicious tendencies affecting the institution of the family.
Group discussions were held in three area; among the participants were 19 young people, 10 NGO representatives, and 8 teachers.
Diagnosis of a modern family. Participants in the discussions emphasized that modern people need an ideology, vision, and understanding of the value of a stable, harmonious, happy, and spiritually sound family. Family happiness depends on ourselves, and we should promote universal values and the skills for creating families among young people as well as teach them how to become prosperous members of the human community.
What should be done. We should seek to unite the community, official bodies, and media in developing a spiritual and moral image of the family as a foundation of the modern community’s fabric of life; promote the ideas of “purity of love and a healthy lifestyle” in schools and universities; organize festivals and TV programs on moral development; promote morals in the social media; and put up banners about the cost of family breakdown on federal and local budgets. We should spread information that will help young people develop their potential.
Impediments to progress
- Ignorance about the issues related to creating a family
- Cult of false needs and values in the human community
- Lack of finances for working with youth
- Lack of honest information in the school curriculum about life, inexperience of teachers about preparing schoolchildren and students to create stable families in the future
- The family is not a subject of study in the legal system
Joint efforts recommended
- Compile proposals into a draft family policy for the Novosibirsk region and the whole nation.
- Recognize the family in matters of law. Legalize the right of a family for paid parents’ work, making alterations and additions to the labor and family code and the Employment Act. Recognize the equality of men and women and equal rights of mothers and fathers to raise their children.
- Create in the society an ideology of human value as well as physical, spiritual, and mental health as basic components of national human capital.
- Through efforts of NGOs, the media, and official bodies, widely promote in the society the ideas of preserving, strengthening, and developing the institution of the family, starting from kindergarten and continuing throughout school and university.
As a result, the participants agreed upon a plan of joint action steps, which included creating a Siberian Peace Council to coordinate programs on strengthening the institution of the family.
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