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UN International Day of Families 2013

Day of Families Celebrated in Palau

Koror, Palau - For this year's International Day of Families program on May 29, UPF-Palau invited three partners to participate: the officers of the Ngerubesang Club from Melekeok state (the capital state), the Palau Canoe Club, and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency, which coordinates official development assistance for the government of Japan.

The Ngerubesang Club sent its officers to hear about UPF's ideas for advancing social integration and intergenerational solidarity in the family system. The gathering was also an opportunity to plan for projects next year to connect fathers and sons as well as mothers and daughters in sustainable development projects such as fishing and gardening. In Palau, fishing is the realm for fathers and gardening for mothers.

The regional chair of UPF-Oceania, Dr. Dong Woo Kim, sent an assistant from Korea to collaborate with the Melekeok group. He showed a DVD Korea's rural development program, Semaul Undong, launched by the Korean government in 1970. The idea was to pave the gap between rural and urban life, improve the living standard in rural areas, and increase opportunities for the villagers to earn more, based on the principles of diligence, self-help, and cooperation. The UPF international provided the philosophical framework of social integration, and the Semaul Undong gave a practical vision of it.

Mr. Yoshi Kurata, a Japanese working at a zoning project in Airai state, offered to participate. A volunteer with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency, Mr. Kurata is also an accomplished musician and showcased his talent with music from Japan, Brazil, Italy, and the US. Both the older group from the Melekeok club and the youth from the canoe club enjoyed the music of Mr. Kurata. Some were the songs parents and grandparents learned during the Japanese period in Palau.

After Mr. Timothy Sisserson gave a presentation on the significance of the family, participants were again serenaded with Mr. Kurata’s music. This music inspired a potential for a jamming session at the learning center.

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