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International Relief Friendship Foundation: Promoting a Culture of Peace - Moldova
Veronica Sarbu, A.F. International Relief Friendship Foundation ONLUS
Chisinau, Moldova
January 7, 2008

"Peace is one of humanity's fundamental needs. It is the thing that everybody is waiting for too. In fact, peace defines our life mission and is the theme of any public speech." With these words the moderator welcomed participants to a conference in Moldova on the theme "A Culture of Family and Peace in Moldova."

Hundreds of leaders from all levels of society throughout Moldova attended the November 17, 2007 event in Chisinau at the Leogrand Convention Center. Civil society, religious leaders, and government officials throughout the world are looking for solutions to key global problems. The conference challenged participants to decide on ways to promote harmony, prosperity, and peace instead of crises, conflicts, and wars.

Because peace means dialogue and cooperation among people of different cultures, races, and nationalities, representatives of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, opened the conference by reading a passage from their scriptures and offering a prayer of blessing.

The event was organized by the A.F. International Relief Friendship Foundation Moldova, the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification in Moldova, the International Educational Association, Teachers for Reciprocal Peace and Understanding, the Confederation of Charitable Associations, and the Universal Peace Federation. The topic of peace was timely in this former Soviet republic because of the challenges the country has been experiencing in the process of development as an independent nation.

The conference focused on several areas:
  • The family, school, and community: partners in promoting a peace culture

  • The family and lasting socioeconomic development

  • The family, faith, and peace culture

  • The communication culture and peace culture
Under each topic, participants were invited to report about a project that took place or give an academic paper on the topic. Thus, the conference was a good opportunity for people to present their achievements and best practices as a way to encourage new partnerships and stimulate the development of new projects. In addition, there was much useful information about research and methodology for improving the well-being of families, communities, and organizations. One speaker noted that love and respect for families and for life is the base of peace.

Towards the end of the conference, ten Ambassador for Peace certificates and ten Young Ambassadors for Peace certificates were given to leaders who made remarkable achievements in spreading a peace culture, with the hopes to inspire them to make greater efforts to promote a culture of peace. It was explained that Ambassadors for Peace are leaders who take responsibility to create a lasting, peaceful world, guided by the principle of living for the sake of others. They are the leaders who transcend religious, cultural, and national borders in order to create a peaceful world.

In conclusion, participants were encouraged to contribute to world peace by having a peaceful attitude and spreading a peaceful way of life.

Note: IRFF Moldova helps supply clothing, medicine, and other necessities for 330 orphans at a boarding school in Balti. For more information about the activities of IRFF-Moldova, see whttp://www.irffmd.net.

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