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November 2017
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Religious Youth Service

Religious Youth Service Helps Expand Networks of Caring in Miami

Miami, USA - Approximately 35 community leaders, including Ambassadors for Peace, religious leaders, educators, and private sector representatives, attended UPF-Miami's annual symposium with the intent to be better informed about the upcoming Youth Enrichment Camp near Port-au-Prince, Haiti August 15-29, a joint effort of UPF, Religious Youth Service, and United Initiatives for Peace.

Keynote speakers included Rev. John Gehring, International Director of Religious Youth Service, who has spent more than two decades leading interfaith service-learning and peacebuilding projects, and Mr. Richard Sapp from Jacksonville, Florida, who coordinates disaster response programs of the International Relief Friendship Foundation, which is based in New York.

The information gathered in discussion format, mainly perceptions and suggestions, provided direction as we support and expand the Universal Peace Federation's vision for building a better world. The symposium helped create an atmosphere of enthusiasm and clearer understanding about working in partnership to promote hope, healing, and harmony in a complex variety of service-oriented activities.

The United Nations Millennium Development Goals helped inform the discussion and gave guidance to the goals we hope to achieve. One main objective is to promote and prepare the resources to proactively work toward "serving the other."

Recommendations agreed upon by those in attendance included the following:
* A sustained commitment to develop our appreciation for the life experiences of those in need.
* Expanding the diversity of our group by extending invitations to other community leaders both in the formal and informal sector, with the goal of increasing resources and the Ambassadors for Peace network.
* Ongoing circulation of challenges, salient issues, concerns, developments, and opportunities to broaden the network of possible partners, contributions, and resources, that will help achieve our goals.

In conclusion, we established a process for follow-up and a time frame to prepare for our next meeting, which will be a celebration of the International Day of Peace on September 21.

For more information contact:

  • Universal Peace Federation-Miami Region: Mr. Publio De La Rosa, Director (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
  • International Relief Friendship Foundation assistance to Haiti: Mr. Richard Sapp (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
  • Religious Youth Service activities: Rev. John Gehring (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and Ana M. Cobiella-Olson (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
  • Information about the Youth Enrichment Camp in Haiti August 15-29: Ms. Diesa Seidel, Founder, United Initiatives for Peace (www.unitedinitiatives.org).

NOTE: Diesa Seidel is running in the San Diego marathon June 6 to help generate awareness and funds for the summer camp.

If you find this page helpful and informative please consider making donation. Your donation will help Universal Peace Federation (UPF) provide new and improved reports, analysis and publications to you and everyone around the world.

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