The Words of the Nakamura Family
A "Play Football for Peace" tournament was held in honor of Africa Day on May 26 in the Lublin District of Moscow. Participants included:
A Lublin district team: "Stardvor"
A team of students of Moscow State University
A team from the Embassy of South Africa
A UPF team
A team of friendly people from Cote d'Ivoire
The host of such an unprecedented event was "Stardvor." Mr. Zarakua Beslan, who is developing a strong football movement in Lublin, gave opening remarks. Dmitry Samko, Secretary General of UPF-Moscow, told players and fans about the significance of Africa Day, and an Ambassador for Peace from Kenya read the message of Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the UN. A representative of the President of UPF-Eurasia, Mr. Akira Nakamura, described the basic principles of "Play Soccer for Peace," calling on the teams to play honestly and fairly in a friendly atmosphere.
The matches, in fact, were vigorous and uncompromising, but the desire to win was not primary. Everyone knew that they were playing for the sake of peace and friendship between different peoples and nationalities, as well as to show a vivid example to the fans, who were mostly from the younger generation.
The result of this memorable event was the victory of the local team "Stardvor." The 2nd place was won by participants from Cote d'Ivoire. Bronze medals went to the activists of UPF. The Moscow State University team took 4th place, and the team from the Embassy of South Africa was 5th. But there were no losers on that day. Everyone who played football for the sake of peace, thus celebrating Africa Day on this sunny day, won. This was a joint victory!
Africa Day is celebrated throughout the African continent on the May 25th. This day is also called the African Freedom Day. For the international community, this important date symbolizes the desire of African nations to unite in the interests of development, peace, and prosperity on the continent.
This day was also commemorated in Novosibirsk. With the support of the Universal Peace Federation a reception in honor of the African Diaspora in Siberia was held in Novosibirsk. About 20 young people, including three African students, gathered for this meeting. First of all, a special message from the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was read.
A graduate student from the Novosibirsk State Technical University, Abevale Bello from Nigeria, delivered a speech titled "On the Pride of Africa." He said that Africans love to travel, but Russia was a closed country for very long, so just a few people could come and learn. But not only these factors affected the arrival of students. Despite the fact that Russia has cold weather and a difficult economic situation, 99.5% of Africans live in the European part of Russia, and only 0.5% in Siberia and the Far East. Less than 100 people from Africa live in Siberia, and in Novosibirsk there are only 34 people.
The main reason why Africans leave Russia for other countries after graduation is that it is difficult to get jobs in their field, and, unfortunately, they are forced to go to Europe or the United States or back to their hometowns. In addition, if African students get married and have children in Russia, they are concerned about their children being treated as mulattos and harassed because of their race. In order to support a family, a young African professionals looking for work need some support from entrepreneurs who could provide them jobs.
After the presentations, participants cut the cake and had fun. Abevale Bello was appointed a Youth Ambassador of Peace.
After the main program a small concert was organized by a student of the Novosibirsk State Conservatory, Martinez Olyaka (trombone), the singer Katherina Mirnaya, and a quintet from the CARP student organization. The festivities ended late at night.