The 7th Annual “Living for the Sake of Others Awards” honoring the selfless service of Paraguayan women was hosted at the National Congress in Asuncion, Paraguay on April 28, 2015. This year, nine women who have served the Paraguayan people in various fields such as education and empowerment of indigenous populations, service and volunteerism, national leadership and culture and arts were recognized.
Dr. Soon Ok Kang, newly appointed Secretary-General of Global Peace Women delivered the following congratulatory message on behalf of Dr. Jun Sook Moon on the auspicious occasion.
Esteemed dignitaries, ladies and gentlemen,
Bienvenidos! Thank you.
Being here always warms my heart. Paraguay is a nation built on a strong foundation of faith and family. I have been moved by the bright and enthusiastic spirit of your people and it is no surprise that Paraguay was rated the “Happiest nation in the World” three years in row. You have opened your doors to my husband and I and welcomed us in as family. To us, Paraguay is our second home.
Welcome to the 7th Annual Global Peace Foundation “Living for the Sake of Others” Awards Ceremony being held here in the Bicameral Room of the National Congress in Asuncion, Paraguay. It is always such an honor to meet with such distinguished women leaders. You are my heroes! Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules to take part in this significant event.
Before I begin, I would like to recognize the hard work of the members, staff and supporters of GPW Paraguay. You have built a significant foundation over these past 7 years through the tradition of this special award. Without leaders like you GPW Paraguay could not have produced the many outstanding achievements that it has.
I would also like to give a very special recognition to my dear friends, Senator Lilian Samaniego and Governor Marlene Ocampos, both of whom have been members and supporters of the Global Peace family for many years and who truly exemplify the ideal of “Living for the Sake of Others?” Don’t you agree?
To the 9 exemplary women being awarded tonight – My heartfelt congratulations! Your untiring dedication to the people of Paraguay truly expresses the ideal of Living for the Sake of Others.
I know that Paraguay’s growing strength and bright future is built upon the efforts of the multitude of selfless women like yourselves working every day to realize true peace.
I am very moved by the story of Paraguay’s women, who played such an important role during the War of the Triple Alliance, fighting and sacrificing for their nation.
These hard-working women labored the land with their hands and with their bodies and gave birth to many loyal sons and daughters. But they did more than that to reconstruct this nation. These women who were wives and mothers and sisters took upon the task of educating the future of this nation, instilling in them the essential values of the importance of family, love for the nation, and perseverance in front of adversity.
I understand it was these women who rebuilt the culture, and maintained Paraguay’s proud identity, including its continued use of the Guaraní language. As mothers, wives, sisters, friends… this story truly shows the beautiful spirit that is rooted in your culture. It’s woman leaders like all of you here who are truly setting the precedent of living for the sake of others.
Four years ago, at the launch of Global Peace Women, Dr. Hyun Jin Moon, founder and chairman of the Global Peace Foundation said:
“The original nature and experience of women strengthen social activities and are essential to realizing the dream of establishing One Family under God.”
What are the aspects of the original nature of women that contribute to global peace?
Current research by numerous neuroscientists, psychologists, and sociologists support the conclusion that, in general, women have a greater capacity for empathy, compassion and the understanding of others’ hearts.
These qualities motivate women to aid in reconciliation and find resourceful, innovative ways to support the overall well-being of their families, the wider community and the world. These qualities foster the culture of living for the sake of others, which is essential to building world peace.
There are many examples of women who have transformed their communities and impacted our world. Their stories are a testament of women who have been driven by their original heart to seek global peace. If these virtues can be established as a public ethic in contemporary society, we can build beautiful, healthy communities and find creative new approaches to the many critical issues that remain unresolved.
Where does the original nature and experience of women most support the building of world peace?
It is in the family. We know that the family is the fundamental social unit and encapsulates the most intimate bonds of the human experience. Global peace will be built in expanding stages upon healthy, peaceful families.
The family is where we learn the most concrete lessons about living for the sake of others. Within the healthy family, most important is what is learned from the unconditional love of the mother. A mother’s empathy and intuition toward her husband and children are the most important elements of family cohesion. They help sustain physical and mental health. The mother nurtures and educates her children to build trust among themselves, find meaning in life, develop good character, experience being loved and learning to give love in return.
Healthy, vibrant families prepare individuals to become productive and responsible members of society. All the fundamental relationships exist within the family: mother and father, husband and wife, brother and sister, sons and daughters, and the extended family. These relationships teach us how to relate to our diverse human family.
That is why Global Peace Women’s first task is to uplift the inherent qualities and true value of women, and empower them in their important role in the family to advance the vision of One Family under God. Global Peace Women recently introduced its motto, “Peace begins in the home.” We believe that a peaceful world first begins with building peaceful homes, and recognize that women are the driving force in that endeavor.
Events such as today’s award ceremony, affirm that the nation of Paraguay is making great strides to advance important goals such as: empowering women to proactively transform themselves and their families; fostering healthy and happy families; articulating the innate value of femininity; recognizing the indispensable leadership of women in the family and society; networking with local and global women leaders; and spreading the culture of service.
The work of GPW Paraguay has been impressive. Last year alone, the international women’s plenary held during the Global Peace Convention here in Asuncion, convened over 1,000 women from around the region. In addition, throughout the year, GPW Paraguay hosted numerous workshops and forums, and supported multiple different social service projects. GPW Paraguay has distinguished itself and I hope you continue to set new precedents for future chapters.
Your efforts are opening new pathways that can inspire women around the world. Through connecting our international efforts with your local efforts, we can generate more creative and impactful programs and activities to improve the lives of our families, communities and world.
We have witnessed the capability and nobility of Paraguayan women, and are honored to recognize nine of you tonight for giving your hearts to secure this nation’s bright future.
Ladies and gentlemen, our world needs our continued commitment and effort, but most importantly, it needs our love. I hope that we can join together in advancing this noble cause to build One Family under God.
Muchas gracias y felicitaciones.