Community leaders chosen to be peace ambassadors

Members from three Bonteheuwel-based organisations and community leaders gathered to bid farewell to, seated, from left, Faldielah Haupt, Soraya Salie and Nicola Pather. The three women were selected as peace ambassadors and attended the third annual World Alliance of Religions Peace (WARP) Summit, which was held in Seoul, South Korea, from Sunday September 17 to Tuesday September 19.

Members of three Bonteheuwel-based organisations held an event to bid farewell to three community leaders, who were chosen as peace ambassadors.

Thethreewomen – Faldielah Haupt, Soraya Salie and Nicola Pather – attended the third annual World Alliance of Religions’ Peace (WARP) Summit, which was held in Seoul, South Korea, from Sunday September 17 to Tuesday September 19.

Ms Haupt, a Bonteheuwel resident, teaches in Mitchell’s Plain; Ms Salie is the chairperson of the Bonteheuwel Walking Ladies and Ms Pather is the principal of Bonteheuwel High School.

The farewell was organised by the Bonteheuwel Ratepayers’ and Tenants’ Association (BRATA), the Bonteheuwel Joint Peace Forum (JPF), and the Bonteheuwel Walking Ladies.

It was attended by other community leaders and was held at the area’s multi-purpose centre on Wednesday September 13.

The summit, held annually since 2014, brings together political and religious leaders, heads of women’s and youth groups, civil society and media from around the world. It provides a platform for discussion and co-operation for peace.

This year’s summit will be held to discuss establishing collaborative governance between governments and civil societies to transform the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) into legally binding form; to develop education and culture of peace; and to foster harmony among religions.

There will also be a peace award ceremony for those who have been working in their respective fields for world peace.

The Bonteheuwel trio, who left for South Korea on Friday September 15, are peace ambassadors who form part of the delegation of the International Women’s Peace Group (IWPG).

This organisation is affiliated to the International Peace Youth Group (IPYG), and Heavenly Culture of World Peace and Restoration of Light.

Speaking about her participation in this event, Ms Salie said: “We are living in a very volatile, war-torn and angry world, and it’s time that we all contribute positively towards spreading the seeds of peace.

“The greatest war that ever existed is the war of self – the war of the soul. We all need to work towards our own inner-peace and do some introspection from deep within our hearts, with deep reflections towards a better ‘me’.

“We need to embrace each other with respect, love and dignity, to make this world a much more peaceful place to live in.”

Ms Haupt said she felt honoured and excited at being chosen to do this. She explained that the head of the IWPG in Cape Town had asked if she could present a lesson on peace to her class. Ms Haupt agreed, and they then gave her a framework to work with, and asked her to do it herself also.

“Since religious studies have been taken away from schools, I was asked to implement values in the curriculum. Before I knew it, I was part of their curriculum development for global education. I didn’t know at the time that what I did was so important.

“I also appreciate the send-off we received-that people took time out to be with me. It blew me out of the water,” Ms Haupt said.