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UN International Day of Families 2012

Day of Families Observed by Somalis in Nairobi

Nairobi, Kenya - Somalis living in Kenya celebrated the International Day of Families at the Compit Educational Center located in Eastleigh in Nairobi on May 15. It was not possible to hold this event inside Somalia due to the violence occurring in the country. However, more than one million Somalis are living in Kenya, and the event in Nairobi attracted an audience of more than 500.

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Somalis are generally Muslims and adhere strictly to their Islamic teachings. For this reason it is not easy to introduce anything that does not conform to their beliefs. However, theme Balancing Public and Private Responsibilities Within the Family with the subtitle Family as a School of Love was well received by this community. Participants included three members of parliament, one professor, two sheikhs, two bank directors, and several community leaders (youth and women).

The Somali Ambassador to Kenya, H.E. Mohamed Ali Nur, had expressed support for UPF's activities promoting peace in Somalia. He is also Somalia's representative to the UN Environment Programme and UN Habitat office in Nairobi.

The program started at 7.30 am and ended around 11.00 am, and the response was heartfelt. Professor Mohamed Bulle Faliir read and commented on the message by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Albanus Mwololo, Secretary General of UPF-Somalia, gave a lecture introducing UPF and its work related to the UN, especially its proposal for the establishment of an interreligious council as a way of promoting positive change. Then the Secretary General of UPF-Africa, Rev. Mwalagho Kililo, gave a presentation about the Family as a School of Love and the setting where people learn to relate to the larger community. The day's activities concluded with remarks by the area sheikh and professor Mohamed Bulle Faliir.

There was a general feeling among the participants that another seminar should be held offering more content and attracting Somali officials.

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

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