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UN International Day of Families 2009

Day of Families Celebrated in Georgetown

Georgetown, Guyana - The Guyana Chapter of the Universal Peace Federation hosted a program at the Guyana Girl Guides Pavilion in keeping with the United Nations Declaration of May 15 as the International Day of Families. The theme was "Creating a World of Peace, One Family at a Time."

The program, attended by just over 200 persons, began at 5:50 p.m. on a very sunny afternoon. Ronald McGarrell welcomed the gathering. Prayers were then offered by representatives of the Christian, Muslim, and Hindu communities. This was followed by a briefing on the UN's Declaration of this date and UPF's statement regarding the family.

The UN Secretary-General's message was read by Mrs. Sheila Chapman-Wong, President of the Women's Federation for World Peace (Guyana Chapter). Afterwards, three other messages were presented. The first was by Mr. Carl Brandon, who represented the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport. The second was by Mrs. lagan, who represented the Minister of Labour, Human Services and Social Security. The third was by Mr. Frederick Cox, Director of the Guyana Responsible Parenthood Association and Chairman of the National Family Planning Board. He noted that this day was never observed nationally and that next year it should be made a nationwide observance.

The next segment of the programme consisted of several poems about the family and peace written by Poetess Mrs. Cheryl Wynter and recited by children. The final poem, which was dramatized by Ms. Nazia Mohammed, was also written by her and recited by a teenage relative.

A 20-minute presentation on True Family Values was given by Mr. McGarrell using a wide-screen projection. It was stressed that harmonious families are the pillars of peace. This was followed by an Indian solo dance (Katack style) performed by a promising young dancer named Nikita. Everything was well received by the audience.

This led to a very interesting aspect of the evening: the presentation of certificates to outstanding families. The first couple on stage was Mr. Lalman Persaud and his wife; they have been married for 60 years, and their children have done very well in life and hold high positions locally and internationally. Their son Chrishna, who is a pandit (Hindu priest) and also an Ambassador for Peace along with his wife, were the second couple to receive a certificate, and he proudly announced to the audience that his father, who is 87 years old, had never hit his wife. A television producer who was present at the function was so impressed by the Persauds that she is planning to do an interview with this couple and broadcast it in order to inspire the young people of the nation about how to make marriage work.

The final two families honored were Clifford and Gladys Accra, parents of five children, joined on stage by several children from the orphanage which they supervise, and Noel and Dina Harlequin, parents of a girl and a boy.

The next aspect of the program was the awarding of a certificate of Ambassador for Peace to Mr. David James, who is the first Amerindian attorney to be admitted to the bar in Guyana. He expressed his gratitude and commitment to help promote a peace culture in Guyana.

A skit promoting peace in the family written by Mrs. Cheryl Wynter was well received by the enthusiastic audience, and a final greeting from the Chairman of the Guyana Association of Justices of the Peace and Commissioners of Oaths, Mr. Hermon Bholaisingh, was read.

A prayer was offered up for the nation's families, and Mrs. Erma Bovell expressed words of gratitude and led the audience in singing "Let There Be Peace on Earth."

To read UPF's Declaration on Families, click here.


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