9th March 2014: The importance of light and love

11 Mar

On Sunday Rhoda and I attended the NGO (non-governmental organisation) introductory day. The jam-packed agenda included a number of eminent and inspiring speakers, starting with the Under Secretary General and Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka who spoke about the ‘opportunity of a lifetime’ presented by the new global development agenda. Analisa Balares, CEO of social enterprise Womensphere spoke about the need for sources of love and light to fight against the ‘black clouds of inhumanity and inequality’ hanging over us. Anita, a 16 year old from the Working Group on Girls, spoke about how her mother, who was forced into an arranged marriage, escaped her abusive husband in Ghana to start a new life with her three children in New York and worked three jobs to ensure her children could have the opportunities she didn’t. It was interesting to hear from other panelists too, about the influence their mothers and fathers had on their lives in encouraging their participation in politics, education and employment.

In what can be very dry and academic discussions, it was refreshing to hear the human stories that demonstrate the importance of gender equality and empowering women; and how values such as love and the importance of family have an inherent value and cut across political and cultural boundaries.

As Rhoda and I struggled and failed to hail a cab, and then battle the New York Subway home (if ever there was an argument for keeping ticket offices open to help hapless tourists, the Subway is it) she reflected on how she might apply the discussions of the day to our grassroots membership and their communities; which also reinforced for me of the importance of keeping people at the heart of the development agenda.


5 Responses to “9th March 2014: The importance of light and love”

  1. Sue Wilson March 11, 2014 at 11:43 am #

    Thanks so much for your reports and pictures, Raq! It really helps Mothers’ Union members keep in touch and pray for the work as it’s happening.

  2. Audrey Taylorson March 12, 2014 at 6:16 pm #

    My heart was stirred to read of Rhoda Luvuno Wabukale’s hopes and dreams as she sees a real need for a project to provide Kenyan girls with sanirary protection. Is there any way that I as an elderly Diocesan MU member could specifically contribute to this in addition to praying.

  3. Angela Bird March 13, 2014 at 5:52 pm #

    I’m glad you’re both out there, representing us and being inspired, even if the subway takes some understanding. Good photo, too!

  4. hilaryshome March 15, 2014 at 11:07 am #

    Great to read your blogs Rachel. I’m quoting you in a talk on Thursday!

  5. Margaret Wilson (news editor) March 23, 2014 at 9:01 pm #

    This new world of contact has just opened up to us in NZ, tucked away in the far corner of the globe, but appreciating the shelter given to us by Australia. We are following with interest. Is it because we have just opened a web page exclusively for mothersunionnz to proclaim what goes on in our three-tikanga (cultural strands) Province of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia? Still attending to some details such as facebook and twitter connections. Although we are small in numbers we are now feeling a heightened sense of family belonging.

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