Milan. On the 11th of February 2012 UPF of Milan and Youth Federation For World Peace Milan hosted the first event of the year 2012 for Peace Ambassadors in recognition of the Week of Interreligious Harmony, instated by the United Nations. The purpose was that of bringing together Peace Ambassadors from Milan and the surrounding area in order meet, share experiences and network – To feel ones identity as a UPF Ambassador For Peace, to inspire each other and to propose new ideas and programs for the upcoming year on this special occasion.
The presence of 30 Ambassadors For Peace and a few new guests in the local UPF meeting point, created a great familiar atmosphere that permitted each participant to feel free to speak with others, share experiences and share contacts for future cooperation. There were representatives of many different religions, social workers and NGO representatives that all came together in this UPF event, sharing their own unique qualities.
The novelty of this event was also the co-organization between UPF and YFWP Milan. This is the second cooperation and first major event organized together by these two organizations.
After a good amount of socializing time with the comfort of tea and coffee, the main event started with the welcoming of the MC, Enza Cammi, Secretary of UPF Milan. Followed by welcoming remarks of the UPF Milan President, Stefania Maffei who explained the purpose of the meeting and her desire for each Ambassador to feel not that they are simply guests but an active part and owners of UPF and of its future activities. The names of each participant were read out loud and each had the chance to say a word or two to those gathered. Everyone got to see who was there and got an idea of who they could be interested in socializing with and exchanging contact information.
Following a presentation of UPF and its goals, the Secretary of the YFWP Milan, Davide Mascoli, then gave a short presentation of what the Youth Federation is. He talked about its goals, and how it fits into the work of UPF and the local community. The response was very positive from all those listening, glad to see also a new generation of Peace Makers stepping forward.
The main point of the evening was to hear the voices of the Peace Ambassadors and guests. Different questions were asked then by Mauro Sarasso, who had the role of discussion mediator. Following these questions many enthusiastically came to the microphone and said some words of inspiration and/or shared values that they felt are most important (Family, dialogue, education). An important point that was mentioned was the request to have moments for formation – giving education and concrete tools to more successfully represent their role as Ambassadors For Peace.
Two Ambassadors For Peace were appointed: Dounia Ettaib, representative of Arab women in Italy, and Joseph Sossou, President of Africa, NGO for adoptions in Togo.
The official program ended with an overview of the UPF Milan Calendar of 2012, warmly inviting each Ambassador for Peace to contribute in their own unique ways.
The evening was not yet over. Many simply wanted to stay and to share and meet the people that had inspired them earlier with just a few words. There was a snack buffet offered, and the mingling lasted quite some time, with a good feeling of sharing and hope.
This is hoped to be the first of many more meetings of this kind, in order to create a strong awareness of having the identity of Ambassadors For Peace.