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Day of Families Observed in Cotonou

Cotonou, Benin - The United Nations International Day of Families was commemorated by the Universal Peace Federation in cooperation with the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification on May 15 as dignitaries gathered at the auditorium of the Peace Embassy in Cotonou as well as five other cities in Benin.

The main event, which began at 10:45 am, witnessed a large turn-out of over 450 guests from all walks of life, including dignitaries, diplomats, government ministers, religious leaders, and representatives of NGOs.

This year’s celebration, which was focused on alleviating the economic suffering of families on the theme of “Addressing Poverty by Strengthening Families,” was held under the patronage of the Ministry of Family and National Solidarity.

The event began with an invocation by Mr. Serge GUELI of the Unification Church of Benin.

The President of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification in Benin, Mr. Andre DEGBEVI, welcomed the audience and referred to the message of the UN Secretary-General.

The representative of the Ministry of Family and National Solidarity, the Director of Families, reminded the audience of the importance of an economically stable family for the social development of the nation. She encouraged the audience to connect with government policies that are geared towards advancing the family and supporting it.

The central message for the occasion, “The Ideal Family and One Family under God: Peace and Security in the World," was presented by Mr. Paterne Zinsou, President of the Universal Peace Federation in West Africa Sub-Region 1 and in Benin. In his presentation he stated that the social and economic problems of the family will be overcome if marriage is consummated based on true love and families live centered on God and with the guidance of true parents. The main topic of this event, “Addressing Poverty by Strengthening Families,” was systematically explained to the participants by a PowerPoint presentation.

The following people also spoke, expressing their appreciation for the Universal Peace Federation's efforts to raise the standard of the family through moral education programs and spearheading the commemoration of the International Day of Families in Benin. They included the leaders of an NGO called "Love Power," Mr. Cyro and Mrs. Cyra SEKE; the Honorary Consul of Israel in Benin, Ambassador for Peace Mr. Issa Raimi Lawani; Ambassador of the Republic of Congo in Benin Mavambi SUKA; and Prophet Lucent of the International Noah Church.

Two Peace Family Awards were presented:

  • The Minister of Family and National Solidarity H.E. Mamatou MEBA BIO DJOSSOU, who had given a presentation at an International Leadership Conference in New York in 2009. She was represented by the Director of Families of the Ministry.
  • The co-founders and co-chairs of Love Power, Mr. and Mrs. SEKE. Mrs. Cyra Seke founded a live broadcast on national TV about family and conjugal love education. Many Unificationist families have been invited to talk about their experiences on that program.

Beautiful musical renditions were offered by Peace Grown International Choir, to the delight of the audience, and the event came to a close with a final musical presentation that put all the guests in a happy dancing mood.

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