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United Nations Relations

‘We Were Born to Shine’: UPF-Argentina Marks International Volunteer Day 2013

Spanish

Buenos Aires, Argentina - “Let’s say together: ‘Thank you!’” was the motto of the day as UPF-Argentina celebrated the UN International Volunteer Day 2013 on Dec. 5. The event, which took place at the UPF Peace Embassy in the capital, Buenos Aires, in cooperation with the UN Information Centers of Argentina and Uruguay, recognized the winners of “Social Action: Volunteering and the Common Good,” a contest that recognizes volunteers and organizations for their good works.

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“Volunteering works in two ways. Apart from contributing to a positive change for others, volunteers also seem to change themselves by their work,” wrote UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in a special International Volunteer Day message read by the poet Mr. Donato Perrone, a member of the National Peace Council of UPF-Argentina.

Awards were presented by Mr. Carlos Varga, director of the Family Federation for World Peace of Argentina, Ms. Silvia Gabriela Vázquez, Ms. Constanza Sena, Mr. Hugo Cattoni, Diplomat of Social Security Alejandro D’Alessandro, and members of the contest jury. In addition to a framed certificate and a copy of the autobiography of UPF founder Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon, the winners were awarded a badge from the Rotary Club, a rosary blessed by Pope Francis, a certificate from the Merchant Navy University, and a gift from the Women’s Federation for World Peace-Argentina.

Priests, volunteers from other countries and founders of international institutions were present. One of these was Dr. Roberto Federico Ré, creator of Red Sanar (Healing Network), which works in 70 locations in Argentina and other nations for the prevention and assistance of psychological problems through holistic health programs.

Thanks and emotional reflections were expressed repeatedly by the representatives of the awarded organizations. “When traveling in an airplane, we tend to find a little sign that says: ‘As an act of courtesy to the next passenger, keep this place clean.’ And after some time, we realize we have to come back to that place, so that means that the next one, the neighbor, is oneself,” said Dr. Alicia Berini, who received one of the 31 awards.

Volunteer work was recognized in the categories of Education, Art and Culture, Integration of Disabled People, Self-help and Spirituality, Integral Health, Communication and Links, Environment and Ecology, and Childhood. Special Mentions were also given in the categories of Seniors, Sports and Recreation, Commitment for Inclusion, Promotion of Social Peace and Volunteering. Some of these involved interreligious, intercultural and international projects.

Entertainment was provided by one of the winning projects, the native dance studio “El Triunfo” (The Triumph), which is directed by Silvia Olguín in Ezeiza (Province of Buenos Aires) and involves around 70 disabled children or children at social risk. Uruguayan singer Wilson Carminatti sang “Vuelo de Ángel” (Angel Flight), a song associated with the campaign “One million signatures for values.” Mr. Carminatti’s final song was the popular “Sueña” (Dream), which he sang with some of the participants.

Some words from the author Marianne Williamson were shared during the event: “We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” This was said to be one of the favorite expressions of South African President Nelson Mandela, who recently passed away, leaving behind an example of dedication and service for the greatness of his nation and a legacy of reconciliation for the world.

Volunteering and the Common Good 2013 Awards
Presented on Dec. 5, 2013, by UPF-Argentina
In Commemoration of UN International Volunteer Day 2013

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” -- Mahatma Gandhi

“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” -- Mother Teresa

Category: INTEGRATION OF DISABLED PEOPLE

FIRST PRIZE
“Removing barriers, promoting inclusion”
Enrique Urcola Museum – First Argentinean Museum of Children’s Art and Handmade Carnival
Lincoln – Province of Buenos Aires

SECOND PRIZE
“Integration and workforce development”
Institution “IDEL”
Autonomous City of Buenos Aires

THIRD PRIZE
Native dance studio “El Triunfo” (The Triumph)
Instructor Silvia Olguín
Ezeiza – Province of Buenos Aires

Category: ART AND CULTURE

FIRST PRIZE
“Give peace an opportunity” – First street congress for peace
Youth group “Aquí estoy” (Here I am)
“Sacred Family” and “San Luis Orione” Parish
Mar del Plata – Province of Buenos Aires

SECOND PRIZE
“Life for peace”
Mother America - International Cultural Institution – Affiliate Río Tercero
Río Tercero – Province of Córdoba

THIRD PRIZE
Literary workshop identity – Literature in action
Teacher Nora Coria
La Matanza – Province of Buenos Aires

Category: COMMUNICATION AND LINKS

FIRST PRIZE
Supplement “Religious Values”
Nonprofit Organization “Working for Charity”
Autonomous city of Buenos Aires

SECOND PRIZE
“Communication of Conscious Economy as a global cause”
Martín Nicolás Traverso Schafer
City of Santa Fe – Province of Santa Fe

THIRD PRIZE
“Social skills, a healthy path for young people with social vulnerability”
Nonprofit Organization “Surcos Project”
Autonomous city of Buenos Aires

Category: INTEGRAL HEALTH

FIRST PRIZE
“We cannot cherish nor love what we do not know”
“A bathroom for my home”
DAR Institution: “Dignity, love and responsibility”
CONIN Family: “For a world without malnutrition”
Río Grande – Province of Tierra del Fuego

SECOND PRIZE
Community Garden project
School Nº 938 - El Poñi - Corrientes
“Huerta Niño” Institution
Sauce – Province of Corrientes

THIRD PRIZE
“Yes, we can”
Institution “Pro Help of rheumatoid arthritis and rheumatologic diseases” (APAARyER)
San Isidro – Province of Buenos Aires

Category: SELF-HELP AND SPIRITUALITY

FIRST PRIZE
“9th shared Christmas, a committed community”
Nordelta Institution: “Solidary Commitment”
Tigre – Province of Buenos Aires

SECOND PRIZE
“An educated woman is a saved family”
National Institution of Self Improvement – Nonprofit Organization (ANSPAC)
Pilar – Province of Buenos Aires

THIRD PRIZE
“Helping others at the death of a loved one!”
Group “Resurrection of Vicente López”
Vicente López – Province of Buenos Aires

THIRD PRIZE
“Selfless help to psychic wounded”
Healing Network of Vicente López
Vicente López – Province of Buenos Aires

Category: ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY

FIRST PRIZE
“Building environmental citizenship”
Project “Seeding life”
Institution Chacras from Buenos Aires
Autonomous city of Buenos Aires

SECOND PRIZE
“100BA Project” – Recycling workshop
Caacupé ONG
Autonomous city of Buenos Aires

THIRD PRIZE
“Vermicomposting, from university to school”
Cathedra of Non-traditional Productions – Faculty of Veterinary Science – National University ofthe Northeast (UNNE) of Corrientes
Agro-technical School of Ramada Paso
Ramada Paso – Province of Corrientes

Category: CHILDHOOD

FIRST PRIZE
“Combat child malnutrition with education, stimulation and alimentation”
CONIN Goya
“We improve the life of a neighborhood”
Institution Agrupar
Goya – Province of Corrientes

SECOND PRIZE
Project “Making stories visible”
Center “La Balsa” for homeless children/teenagers
Institution “Mensajeros de la Paz de Argentina”
Director: Ms. Dora Teresa Portillo
Autonomous city of Buenos Aires

THIRD PRIZE
Orchestra “Hooray for the kids”
Institution “Petisos” - Cultural Center Osvaldo Miranda - Musician Hugo Lobo
Autonomous city of Buenos Aires

Category: EDUCATION

FIRST PRIZE
“Educational and social project of training for interreligious dialogue”
Nonprofit Organization “Working for Charity”
Autonomous city of Buenos Aires

SECOND PRIZE
“Concept multiculturalism”
Nonprofit Organization “Diplomatic Friends / Global Equilibrium”
Autonomous city of Buenos Aires

THIRD PRIZE
“School by itself cannot do it” – Educational Network Project
Network of Schools from Bajo Boulogne and Villa Jardín
Parish “Santa María del Camino”
Boulogne – Province of Buenos Aires

THIRD PRIZE
“Creative education for a future of brotherhood”
Enrique Urcola Museum - First Argentinean museum of Children’s Art and Handmade Carnival
Lincoln – Province of Buenos Aires

SPECIAL MENTIONS

SPECIAL MENTION - SPORTS AND RECREATION
“Program We Learn Playing”
Salvation Army
Tres Arroyos – Province of Buenos Aires

SPECIAL MENTION - SENIORS
“Hands that talk from the heart”
Center of Social Volunteering of seniors “Los Águilas” (The Eagles)
Municipality of Huerta Grande
Huerta Grande – Province of Córdoba

SPECIAL MENTION - COMMITMENT TO INCLUSION
“Cultural Commitment to inclusion and egalitarian opportunities”
Pinta Argentina
“A society reaches their full harmony when they learn to live accepting their differences”
Autonomous city of Buenos Aires

SPECIAL MENTION - PROMOTION OF SOCIAL PEACE
“Coffee”
Skills for peaceful resolution of conflicts
Nonprofit Organization of Participatory and Peaceful Processes
San Isidro – Province of Buenos Aires

SPECIAL MENTION - VOLUNTEERING
“University people committed to the community”
“College education, informal education and socio-environmental-community awareness”
University Volunteering
Faculty of Forestry of the National University of Misiones
Eldorado / San Pedro – Province of Misiones

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