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July 2019
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Service Programs

Community Connections Project Launched in Sydney

Sydney, Australia - The bi-monthly Ambassadors for Peace Meeting on June 6 featured an introduction and explanation of the new Community Connections Project being instigated in Sydney by the Universal Peace Federation. Greg Stone, President of UPF-Australia, introduced the project.

The guest speaker was Gary Christian, Secretary of Drug Free Australia and Director of Getting Connected.*

Gary spoke about resiliency (the ability to cope positively with change, stress, and anxiety) and the success of certain resiliency-based programs in Australia (e.g., through high schools) as well as in other countries (e.g., Iceland) in tackling the drug abuse problem. He shared how one town in Idaho, USA, successfully addressed some community issues (e.g., teen pregnancy), as mature citizens set about learning the names of the youth in the town and getting to know them personally.

The Community Connections Project has two main focuses: community building using the resiliency approach and promoting multicultural harmony through interfaith and intercultural programs. The goals include making a positive contribution to solving social problems such as drug abuse, youth suicide, and inter-community tensions.

There was group discussion at each table seeking reaction to the Community Connections Project and how it could be used in the respective communities of the 40 Ambassadors for Peace and others present. Overall positive feedback showed a willingness to work with UPF on this new initiative.

The following plan was adopted:

Community Connections Project Goal: To promote harmony and resilience to overcome all type of social problems in the community

Project Objectives

  • To promote community resilience by providing youth and community leaders with an opportunity for resilience skill development
  • To support youth and community leaders to implement programs based on resilience training
  • To promote interfaith and intercultural cooperation and harmony
  • To promote supporting network in community by fostering a mentoring system involving the whole community

Programs and activities to reinforce a harmonious and resilient life style:

  • Resilience training for youth & community leaders
  • Post-training support for trained youth & community leaders
  • Develop a community Interfaith Resource Centre
  • Hold interfaith forums
  • Run community service projects
  • Hold Bridge of Peace reconciliation events
  • Hold awards ceremonies to recognize outstanding individuals: Living for Others Awards

 

* Getting Connected is a program of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency of Australia. See www.adra.org.au

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