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International Day of Peace Celebrated in Albania

Tirana, Albania - The Albania Academy of Sciences was the setting for an observance of the UN International Day of Peace, Sept. 19, 2014.

In cooperation with the National Institute for Integration of Albanian Orphans, UPF helped 100 orphan children and provided them with educational materials for the academic year 2014 – 2015. During August, eight volunteers with the Family Federation for World Peace went throughout Albania to raise funds to help these orphans.

The event was moderated by Mr. Gani Rroshi, president of the Family Federation for World Peace-Albania. After thanking the volunteers who raised funds, he explained the meaning of the International Day of Peace and the slogan chosen by the United Nations for this year: "The Right of Peoples to Peace." He emphasized the cooperation between the Family Federation and the Albanian Institute for Integration of Orphans. Then he invited Dr. Arben Malaj, chairman of the National Peace Council of UPF-Albania, to greet the participants.

In his congratulatory address, Dr. Malaj said that it was a very special day for him, since it was also his birthday. He said that there was no more meaningful way to celebrate his birthday than to be together with people who love peace on the International Day of Peace event and doing something for people in need.

Then Mr. Bajram Ibraj, chairman of UPF-Albania, spoke on behalf of all Ambassadors for Peace. He thanked each volunteer by name and told a moving story about a judge and a thief which had happened in USA. “A poor man had stolen in order to eat and was caught by police. When brought in front of the judge, he admitted that he had stolen and described the reason why he did it. The judge then punished him with a fine of $10 but also said that because it was the fault of society who made people become poor, he himself would pay the fine."

Mr. Ibraj said that he was deeply moved by the volunteers who sacrificed their summer holidays to do something for orphans, and he contributed some money for next year’s event, asking other Ambassadors for Peace to do the same. Others responded, included the Deputy Minister of Education Dr. Nora Malaj.

Mr. Ilir Cumani, general director of the National Institute for Integration of Albanian Orphans, also thanked from his heart the volunteers for setting an example for other people who have more possibility to help but actually do less. Mr. Cumani said that although such a project does not solve all the problems of orphan children, it raises awareness among the public and state agencies about the need to do more for orphans, especially in the field of education.

The last speaker was Dr. Nora Malaj, deputy minister of education and sports. She said that as a woman, as a mother, as government representative and as an Ambassador for Peace she felt honored to be present in such audience and on such a meaningful day as the International Day of Peace. She emphasized the need for more love and care in such troubled times and especially for those in great need, such as orphan children. She told a children’s story about a bet between the wind and the sun about who could make an old, suffering man take off his jacket. The wind tried hard by blowing strongly, but the man held onto his jacket and even asked God to help. After some time the wind gave up. Then it was the sun‘s turn. The sun started to warm him up slowly and after some time the man said “Thank you, God, for helping me” and took off his jacket. She encouraged everyone to share more love and care for each other, because only through love can everyone have peace. She closed her address by promising to do more through the institution she works for and with the Ambassadors for Peace organization.

Afterwards, packages were delivered to the orphans present, who were very happy to be part of such event. The program was covered by several TV channels.

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