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UN International Day of Families 2012

Day of Families Observed in Lusaka

Lusaka, Zambia - Commemorating the United Nations International Day of Families 2012 on the theme “Ensuring Work Family Balance,” UPF-Zambia joined the rest of the world on May 15 for this important event. The event took place at the Peace Embassy in Lusaka with more than 65 participants from different walks of life, including clergymen, teachers, students, Ambassadors for Peace, and married couples. Among them was a representative of the United Nations, a professor at the University of Zambia, and members of parliament.

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Before the program commenced, a video clip was shown about the activities of UPF around the world. The commemoration started with a prayer offered by Pastor Eric Mutewa followed by the Zambian national anthem.

Later the MC, Mr. Matthew Mumba, introduced the participants at the head table: Gen. Malimba Masheke, UPF-Zambia chairman, and his wife; Mr. Charles Nonde, a UN representative; Rev. Rudolf Faerber, UPF-Zambia Secretary General; Mrs. Eularia Zulu, former Permanent Secretary for the Eastern Province of Zambia and also a National Peace Council Member; and Dr. Mutumba Bull, a Professor at the University of Zambia, the biggest university in Zambia.

The Chairman of UPF-Zambia had this to say to the audience: having good role models can make people better parents and grandparents. Children also can grow up as responsible and peaceful citizens when in their homes they learn the virtues of love, peaceful persuasion, harmony, cooperation, and altruism. It is important to share knowledge about good practices in work-family balance that are implemented and advocated for by governments, the private sector, civil society, and academic institutions in order to achieve peace, harmony, and tranquility. In conclusion he said that for peace in the family, community, nation, region, Africa, and the world to prevail and become manifest, the initial step is to strengthen family bonds.

The second speaker was the United Nations representative Mr. Charles Nonde, Team Assistant of United Nations Information Centre in Lusaka, who read the message of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon relating to the International Day of Families.

The third speaker was the UPF-Zambia Secretary General Rev. Rudolf Faerber, who gave two PowerPoint presentations: The Benefits of Marriage and The Family as a School of Love. His presentations, which were interactive and stimulated interesting discussions, asked questions such as: Why do we get married? Various answers were raised by participants, including the Biblical teaching that husband and wife shall join and stay together as one flesh, sharing ideas, and experiencing joy. This will allow God to dwell in them and express His unconditional love.

At the end of presentations, two couples shared some inspiring experiences in their relationship. The first couple was Rev. and Mrs. William Chimfwembe, Secretary General of UPF-Botswana. The husband is from Zambia, and his wife is from the Democratic Republic of Congo. They have lived together for the past 20 years as a married couple. They said that despite their different languages, traditions, and foods, they were able to overcome all these barriers and aim to live as one family under God, which is the vision of UPF Founders in pursuit to realize an ideal world.

The second couple was Pastor Eric Mutewa from the Democratic Republic of Congo, who has been in Zambia for 23 years, and his wife, Mrs. Jacqueline Mutewa, who is from Jamaica and has been with him in Zambia for 18 years. In their testimonies which they shared with the audience, they described Jamaica's African roots in language and tradition and talked about how they were married in Korea although they had met only through photos and had not met in person previously.

Both testimonies moved the audience to realize that through intercultural and international marriages globalization is advancing and the world is becoming a small village or one family under God.

The commemoration ended with families praying together and posing for a group photo.

Later that evening, the Zambian National Television Broadcasting Corporation Channel 2 aired an interview with the chairman about the commemoration in which he explained about the family as the cornerstone for peace, stability, and development.

Reported by Djimadoum Fabrice – UPF-Zambia Secretariat
To read more about UPF observances of the International Day of Families 2012, click here.

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