Tirana, Albania—UPF-Albania and affiliated organizations marked the 2017 UN International Day of Peace by helping orphaned children on their journey of education.
In a program held on September 20 in the UPF Peace Embassy, a hundred orphans were given school supplies for the new academic year. The funds to purchase the supplies were raised by six university students who are members of the Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP), an organization that is affiliated with UPF.
The six students—Doralda Ferizi, Beqir Kaculi, Erol Hoxhallari, Elona Zefi, Enea Leka, and Adnan Rexhaj—spent their summer holidays fundraising all over Albania to buy the school supplies.
The event was organized by UPF together with CARP and the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU), another affiliated organization, and the National Integration Institute of Albanian Orphans (NIIAO). This was the ninth year that UPF and FFWPU have jointly held an International Day of Peace celebration.
The theme of this year’s International Day of Peace was "Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All."
The moderator of the program, Mrs. Manjola Vasmatics, the secretary general of UPF-Tirana, explained the meaning of this day and read from the words of UPF founder Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon on the importance of education. Rev. Moon called education one of the things we should leave behind to our descendants.
As a co-organizer of the event, the chair of NIIAO, Mr. Ilir Çumani, gave the welcoming remarks, in which he expressed his determination to work harder to make the orphans happy.
We had the privilege to have as a special guest the regional chair of UPF for Europe, Eurasia and the Middle East, Dr. Katsumi Otsuka. He gave a beautiful message in which he encouraged us to start building peace within ourselves and in the world simply by smiling. All the children and participants were very happy and kept smiling throughout the program.
As a representative of the Albanian Ambassadors for Peace, Mrs. Valbona Tolli explained the vision of UPF and especially the main principle of living for the sake of others.
Two of the six student fundraisers, Mr. Beqir Kaculi and Miss Elona Zefi, described their experience in fundraising and encouraged the children with heartfelt words.
The chair of UPF-Albania, Hon. Gaqo Apostoli, concluded the program with a hopeful message and then sang a few songs together with the children. The entertainment continued with dancing by Japanese CARP students and singing by Mrs. Kazumi Kawakubo, a young UPF supporter who was visiting from Japan.
Finally, the pupils were invited forward, one by one, to receive a package with school supplies.
We wish the pupils a successful year, and together we are determined to continue such peacebuilding projects.