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UN International Day of Families 2012

Day of Families Observed at a Cathedral in Parnell

Parnell, New Zealand - UPF and the Women's Federation for World Peace organized a celebration of the International Day of Families on May 12 at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Parnell, a suburb of Auckland, New Zealand.

It seemed a very relevant theme for New Zealand that the United Nations chose for this year's International Day of Families: “Ensuring Work Family Balance.” For the last few months in New Zealand, the headlines were all about workers striking; in fact, one of the largest ports in New Zealand was brought to a virtual standstill for many weeks, holding up goods bound for various international markets and threatening many businesses already on the verge of collapse due to the world economic downturn.

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Unusually, these strikes were not about wages but because of work schedules that didn’t allow for time with one's family. It has for some become apparent that many social problems that now cost the nation are related to family-based issues which include not enough time with growing children and incorrect mentoring. As a result, there was no shortage of interest among speakers who wished to address the topic.

The venue was a central, well-known beautiful cathedral to highlight the fact that not only political leaders but also faith communities could be drawn together to share and listen to content that would address the topic of “Ensuring Work Family Balance.” Although some of the speakers talked about how government or city leaders hoped to address this pressing issue, the most moving speakers gave personal testimonies about the quality experiences they had within their families that most impacted their well-being. They shared highlights of their and their children’s lives, drawing the conclusion that helping families to thrive was not just about income but also about time spent within families.

Several MPs attended representing National, Labour, and Conservative parties; not all could speak, but it was clear that they would have liked to.

A large part of the program was the entertainment, which consisted of ten performances, including Chinese dragon dancers, local primary school children singing the national anthem, Thai dancers, Croation dancers, Auckland University Glee Club, a violin and piano concerto, a Tongan choir, and martial arts demo. This helped attract a large audience of over 600, and the well-rehearsed performances moved the audience. The finale was the heart-moving song “We are one family.”

The Women's Federation for World Peace provided refreshments that brought to a close a most successful and memorable event.

To read more about UPF observances of the International Day of Families 2012, click here.

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