Unification News for April 2002

IIFWP Seminar: Renewing Cameroon

by Michael Lamson

On Tuesday March 26, in Yaounde, Cameroon, an estimated 123 participants from Media, Academia, Religious Associations, Political Groups, The NGO Community and Government participated in an International Leadership Seminar under the theme "Renewing the Nation: An exploration of principles and practices that strengthen families, educate our youth, and rebuild society". There were 82 guests from civil society and government, 6 national leaders from other countries and 35 members from FFWPU, WFWP, CARP, IRFF, PWPA and IIFWP.

The program opened with an invocation by Rev. Fritz Mbi Takang of the World Wide Mission of Cameroon followed by the welcome address given by Hon. Francis Nkwain the former Minister of External Relations and current chairman of IIFWP Cameroon. This was followed by the welcoming address of Dr. Thomas Walsh and the video presentation about the life and work of True Parents.

Rev. Kwak delivered the Keynote Address which was followed by an introduction to IIFWP by Dr. Walsh. During the lunch break all the guests visited expositions that were set up by WFWP, CARP and PWPA and discovered what activities each organization was sponsoring in Cameroon.

In the afternoon Dr. Walsh spoke on Character Education and AIDS Prevention using a PowerPoint presentation. This was followed by a presentation using the IIFWP "Zero Transmission Life Style" Flip Chart given by Pius Manchang the Executive Director of IRFF. Mrs. Kathy Rigney then gave brief comments on the AIDS presentation. This was followed by a talk on True Family Values delivered by FFWPU President Mr. Daniel Essomba Eyene.

After the coffee break Reverend Kwak delivered his lecture on "Spirit World and the Blessing." The presentation was very well organized and the use of the PowerPoint materials had all participants on the edge of their seats. Most of the participants expressed their pleasure at the sincerity of Rev. Kwak's message and how he connected his life experiences to the presentation.

At one point during Rev. Kwak's talk the power in the city was turned off and there were no emergency lights in the hall. Rev. Kwak continued his presentation with out missing a beat and no one in the audience left the hall. The laptop that was used for the PowerPoint presentation was the only light in the hall because it was on a battery and this illuminated Rev. Kwak's face making him look like an angel. Many in the audience speculated that the spirits in the spiritual world Rev. Kwak was talking about were having a battle over his presentation.

After finishing his presentation Rev. Kwak along with Dr. Walsh and others invited participants to come and receive the blessing. Around 25 to 30 couples and individuals participated.

At the closing Banquet, two guests shared their impressions about the seminar. Mrs. Helen Chendi (Director of HIV/AIDS programs with UNICEF) expressed her approval of the AIDS materials and information as well as her appreciation of the fact that IIFWP focused on the family as one of the major shareholders in the fight against AIDS. Mrs. Rose Kah (Ministry of Education) expressed her great surprise at the fact that her whole life so far was a series of events with no central point. She stated that her role as a mother, a leader and a citizen were all defined through Reverend Kwak's speech and that she now felt empowered to invest herself in living for the sake of others.

The IRFF youth department provided the entertainment through songs and traditional dances while the IRFF cultural department (Bantu Feeling) provided the music with instruments they produce. The Bantu Feeling group introduced its newest member from the U.S., Mr. Wade Hampton, who played the Njimbe. After the entertainment Bantu Feeling presented a Njimbe (Drum) which they made especially for Rev. Kwak.

Following the entertainment Rev. Kwak presented 15 VIPs with Ambassador for Peace Awards. Five of these Ambassadors of Peace were traditional rulers.

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