We visited theVillage of Esperanza where our associate build the school for 600 children.
UEF met with African Leaders in St. Louis to discuss future activities with African Heads of State and First Ladies. They expressed excitement at the prospect of having their leaders attend UEF seminars and events in Las Vegas, and currently are in communication with UEF to arrange these future rendezvous.
UEF frequently donates much needed resources and educational materials to support efforts made by these countries to back their own self-sustaining plans for growth and prosperity. With the help of community partners such as Zachary Delbex of Repurpose America based in Las Vegas, it has been possible to send materials used to fortify building structures to ensure safer living conditions, and resources used by educators to teach skills to those who otherwise would not have a way of providing for themselves or their families.
In April 2015, UEF specially chose and sponsored community leaders from Las Vegas to meet with community leaders in Japan.
Maggie Tsu of Downtown Project, Evan Louie of Kona Ice, and Duy Nguyen of OCA Las Vegas travelled to Japan to share their vision of social entrepreneurship, philanthropy and community involvement. Together with Japanese community leaders, methods of serving the community were discussed, and novel ideas for community involvement were shared. Maggie Hsu had an opportunity to talk about Tony Hsieh and the vision he had when reviving Downtown Las Vegas.
Together, the leaders visited the Tomodachi Initiative, which is a U.S. â€“ Japan Counsel. They also met with Womenâ€™s Federation for World Peace (WFWP), Japan chapter, and learnt about their humanitarian projects in Africa and other impoverished communities. Their current projects include building schools and helping to provide better education, after listening to the results of a survey they carried out. WFWP have met great success and have nurtured many close relationships to partners in Africa, whom they continue to work with to strengthen African countries.
On National Refugee Day, UEF hosted a Community Awareness Fundraiser for the Bhutanese community. Families from around the world take refuge in the U.S. when wars strike; the same is true for the citizens of Bhutan, a far less known or followed population. Amongst all refugee communities in the U.S., the Bhutanese is the least represented of them all. Most people have never even heard of the Kingdom of Bhutan, never-mind the strife they have experienced for decades. It was a surprise to find it was common for many in this community to have never known a ‘normal’ life because they were either born in refugee camps, or displaced when they were very young.
For the Bhutanese community in Las Vegas, it was the first opportunity they had to voice their experiences and freely share the heartache of their country. It was likewise the first time many attendees had heard about Bhutan and the fighting that still ensues there today.
The Bhutanese community worked for months before the event to create beautiful traditional crafts, paintings, clothes, jewelry and cloth to sell at the event to fund programs within their community, such as English language classes and mental health support systems. The younger generation performed traditional dances and songs for all to enjoy. A point of excitement for many was the auctioning off of a beautiful, hand-made singing bowl one family brought with them when they moved to the U.S. Despite the sensitive topic, the Bhutanese community lived up to their cultural saying, ‘treat your guests as your king’, and pulled together to make sure everyone felt warmly welcomed and part of their family. It was certainly a joyous event for everyone involved, especially the Bhutanese community who felt they had been given a chance to be heard in Las Vegas for the first time.
This event would not have been possible without many in the community collaborating and supporting. In particular, Evan Louie and ACRC were vital in puzzling together all the pieces to make this event a success. We also thank Origin India for their generous support. We were honored to have city and community leaders attend this event and hear about the concerns of the Bhutanese population in Las Vegas, but also witness their vitality and incredible resilience.
Tommy Furuta of UEF was fortunate enough to attend the 2014 World Summit at the White House and represent UEF. He was able to meet congressional leaders such as U.S. Deputy Secretary of Labor, Chris Lu, and U.S. Congresswoman, Judy Chu amongst many others.
It was a great opportunity to discuss philosophies for future empowerment of nations and international collaboration, and share UEF’s vision to world leaders. It was inspiring to see that there are many world leaders who share the same vision and desire as UEF.
In July 2014, UEF co-sponsored an international conference held at Walker Hill Hotel in Seoul, South Korea. Leaders from nations around the world were invited for a long weekend of discussions, panels and presentations. In total, national and political leaders from over 180 countries covering all continents attended. Community leader, Evan Louie, participated as a representative of Las Vegas.
Honorable Attendees included the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Hon. D. M. Jayarate, Head of State of Somoa, Tue Atua Tupua Tamales Efi, and Maori Prince of New Zealand, Whatumoana Paki.
The reason for this conference was to discuss the core principles of peace; uncovering the wisdom held in different communities and cultures worldwide. This tightly packed event shed light on issues faced in the pursuit of peace by various countries around the world, and opened arenas for future collaboration and international dialogue.
From April 30 to May 4th 2014, UEF welcomed Brazzaville, Congo Heads of State to discuss the Universal Peace Federation’s principles of conflict resolution, national unity and sustainable peace.
Many delegates and leaders came from the Congo including Mr. Maurice NGUESSO, Special Assistant to the President of the Republic of Congo, visited Las Vegas and attended the Special Seminar.
Former Cirque du Soleil performer and author, Vital Germaine, shared his personal experiences and reflections about growing up through hardships which turned into his inspiration, and his roots to Congo.
On November 27th through December 2nd, as our third major invitational event in 2013, UEF invited Mrs. Isolina Da Fonseca Nhamajo, the First Lady of the West African republic of Guinea Bissau, to visit Las Vegas. UEF organized meetings with individuals who could offer humanitarian and human development aide to Guinea Bissau through the First Lady’s own charitable organization called Fundacao Firkidja.
Mrs. Nhamajo took part in presentations of UEF’s vision for world peace and development through education, offered by Mr. Kwon Jin Moon and Dr. Tony Guerra. She also attended a special fundraising dinner in her honor to support the work of Fundacao Firkidja. At the dinner she was honored with special citations from the office of Senator Harry Reid and from the Las Vegas City Council. She, in turn, offered hand-woven traditional cloths to Mr and Mrs. Moon, and to Mr. Zachary Delbex, the founder of Re-Purpose America who is offering the donated materials to the First Lady’s project.
Through these meetings and events, the First Lady was able to make the foundation for the donation of materials and technology that can help her humanitarian organization give employment skills and income to handicapped women and young people in her country which is one of the poorest in the world.
Mrs. Nhamajo and her entourage were also treated to a visit to Hoover Dam and to a night out at the MGM Grand to see KA by the Cirque du Soleil.
Between October 28th and November 2nd thirteen distinguished Nigerian VIP guests and Ambassadors for Peace participated in a dual program co-sponsored by Universal Education Foundation and Universal Peace Federation-International. The Nigerian Guests along with students and guests from Las Vegas attended 6 days of discussions and adventures and a special UEF Assembly on the theme of “Building a Culture of Peace” through the family and through public service.
The Nigerian delegation included the head of a poly-technical institute, a congressional aide, the head of one mega-church, the owner of a pharmaceutical company and a number of other businessmen and women. These guests paid for their own travel and excursion expenses and accommodations.
On Monday the 28th the presentations and discussions began with an introduction to the Las Vegas Seminar Program by Mr. Kwon Jin Moon. This was followed by an introduction to UPF-International by the president of the world-wide organization, Dr. Thomas Walsh. Other presentations were made by Dr. Tony Guerra from UEF-Las Vegas and Mr. Kevin Winter from the Africa office of UPF in Nigeria.
Day 2 was devoted to a tour of the Grand Canyon at the world famous Sky Walk. This tour was surprised by the supprise appearance in their midst on the skywalk of “Zombies” – members of the Hualapai Tourism Dance Troupe recording a flash mob performance of the Michael Jackson’s Thriller which later appeared on Youtube.
Days 3 and 4 were spent in lectures and discussion on the principles of peace-making and reconciliation and the UPF perspective on history and the peaceful world of the future. On the evening of day 4 the entire group went to see the Cirque de Soleil’s “O” at the Bellagio Theatre.
Day 5 was devoted to the special UEF Assembly at the UNLV Student Union Theater. More than a hundred students and leading Las Vegas citizens joined our international guests for an event that included inter-cultural performances, a Bridge of Peace Ceremony, a panel discussion, an award ceremony for outstanding community servants and an inspiring presentation on the way forward to peace for human civilization.
International participants dressed in colorful traditional attire. The bridge of peace ceremony focused on reconciliation between traditionally conflicted ethnic groups, between races and between genders. The Panel discussion brought out intimate testimonies of overcoming devastating personal tragedy through public service and love for humanity and overcoming tribal and racial animosity by inter-ethnic and inter-racial married couples. Ambassador for Peace awards were presented to 9 leading citizens of Nigeria and the United States who have lived exemplary lives of service. And Mr. Kwon Jin Moon presented a stirring oratory canvas of the process for reaching what some futurologists call a “level one planetary civilization”.
The Nigerian delegation was treated to one more day of excursions and a farewell dinner offered by the Universal Educational Foundation.
By Tomiko Duggan, Director, RYS-Washington, DC; and Director of Public Affairs, UPF-DC Office, Saturday, 13 July 2013
Washington DC, USAÂ – Planning for the July 9-13 Youth Service program in Washington, DC, began months ago inspired by the successful model carried out in Albania last year. Initially outreach was to the diplomatic community. The embassies of Botswana, Ghana, and Timor-Leste responded. The daughter of the Botswana ambassador and the daughter of the Ghana ambassador were among the 18 participants; the others were from the Ivory Coast, Albania, and the US.