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Think Tank 2022


May 2023
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The Backbone of the Popularity of GPF Paraguay

Not much time is left until the kick off of the world-wide relay of Global Peace Festivals this year. It begins July 2-5, in Paraguay. Excitement has been stirred up throughout this South American nation. GPF is endorsed by the government -- the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Ministry of Tourism.

It has been publicized in newspapers such as ABC newspaper and Diario Social. Behind this popularity lie the local programs and service projects that are building momentum for GPF Paraguay. Currently there are eight ongoing efforts promoting “One family under God.” All activities encourage people to get involved in the social impact program and the main GPF program the first week of July. Three of these programs are described below.

Under the project, “Adopt a Park,” around 120 parks in Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay, are allocated among citizens and schools. Participants clean, paint walls, and plant trees to beautify their parks. Program development is monitored by an architect, Cesar Cabrera, who organizes weekly meetings at the GPF office.

The ongoing activities are building a sense of ownership among people who live near the parks and inspiring them to work for the betterment of their city. The enthusiastic young participants are making an impact in their neighborhoods. The program is supported by municipal officials and the parents’ board. Teachers and parents are joining the effort to take care of their environment. Schools in Asuncion are sending 120-300 students to be part of this program. Many organizations, local schools, and municipal offices said that they had always had this kind of service project in mind but had no chance to implement it. Through this “Adopt a Park” project, they say that they have found the opportunity they were looking for and are inspired to encourage others to do something good for society.

As part of an HIV/AIDS preventive education program, every Saturday college and university students visit a kindergarten that cares for children with HIV. This is a GPF partner program conducted by the Marco Aguayo Foundation* and two student and youth groups, CARP and YFWP. The young people clean the grounds and plant trees, creating a more pleasant environment for the children to play in. What the children enjoy the most is meeting and playing with the young people, who are beginning to feel like their elder brothers and sisters, even though some of them come from faraway countries such as Peru, Haiti, and Japan. Through participating in this program, the young people said they came to the conclusion that the only way of preventing HIV/AIDS is by educating people about family values and sexual purity.

College students visit a kindergarten run by the Marco Aguayo FoundationCharacter education programs are being offered in many high schools in Asuncion and some other cities. With the cooperation of the board of directors of the schools, these programs promote a culture of service, living for the sake of others, and other aspects of moral education. They are aimed not only at students but also teachers who will be educating students and guiding their families.

We support and extend our best wishes to all those working to build one family under God throughout Paraguay, and we expect that GPF Paraguay will become a good starting point for the world-wide accomplishments of GPF 2008 and its vision of one family under God.

*The Marco Aguayo Foundation is a Paraguayan organization that fights against HIV/AIDS, offering lectures, organizing prevention campaigns, and running a kindergarten that takes care of children with AIDS; they are a member of the GPF Paraguay working group. CARP (the Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles) is a world-wide student organization based on campuses. YFWP (Youth Federation for World Peace) is a world-wide youth leadership organization.