The Shrimati Pushpa Wati Loomba Memorial Trust (The Loomba Trust), was named for a woman who in 1954 became a widow in Punjab, India. Left to support her family on her own, without any formal education herself, she beat every odd and the societal norms and succeeded in education all of her seven children.
The Loomba Trust, and the American offshoot, The Loomba Foundation, USA, are committed to caring for widows and their children around the world.In so many societies and cultures, when women lose their husbands, they lose all standing in the community—they lose their place in society, and in some ways, lose their life. They are marginalized and discriminated against, turned out, often by their own families, and their children become nothing more than collateral damage. The Loomba organizations make sure these women and their children don’t fall through the cracks…and you can help. Reach out today.
The Loomba Trust & Foundation presently educates over 3,600 children of poor widows in all the 29 states of India. It also supports 1,500 HIV orphans in South Africa in partnership with Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Unite. The Loomba Trust & Foundation Entrepreneurship programs, started in 2007 in Kenya, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, help widows establish businesses and become economically self-sustaining. These programs are in collaboration with Youth Business International, which is HRH The Prince of Wales’ charity in the UK. More recently the Trust has been working in Rwanda to address the needs of widows surviving the 1994 genocide.
In conjunction with various governments, The Loomba Trust & Foundation are seeking to have the United Nations recognize International Widows Day to draw global attention to the plight of the estimated 100 million destitute widows around the world. International Widows Day was launched in the UK at the House of Lords in 2005.
The organization helps poor widows and educates their children, regardless of gender or religion.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has designated Grammy Award-winning songwriter and musician Stevie Wonder as a United Nations Messenger of Peace with a special focus on people with disabilities.
A Messenger of Peace for the UN is a high-profile entertainer, sportsperson, leader of academia, or literature who is charged with making international public appearances to promote the public understanding of improving the quality of life on planet Earth. Big job, big responsibility, and hugely important.
Stevie’s no stranger to reaching out–he is a participant in so many campaigns and projects for others, from hit fund-raising songs “We Are the World” and “That’s What Friends Are For” to numerous campaigns for people with disabilities. In selecting Stevie Wonder for this designation, the Secretary-General said, “Our newest Messenger of Peace is someone who is admired by millions of people and has given back to millions of people. I recognize that he has consistently used his voice and special relationship with the public to create a better and more inclusive world, to defend civil and human rights and to improve the lives of those less fortunate. Stevie Wonder is a true inspiration to young people all over the world about what can be achieved despite any physical limitations.”
Of course, Stevie is in good company. Other Messengers of Peace include, among others, George Clooney (for peacekeeping), Paulo Coelho (for poverty and intercultural dialogue), Michael Douglas (for disarmament), Jane Goodall (for conservation and environmental issues), Yo-Yo Ma (for youth), Charlize Theron (for ending violence against women), and Elie Wiesel (for human rights).
Be the Change You Wish to See in the World
In 2007, the United Nations had a great idea. They declared October 2, Gandhi’s Birthday, as International Non-Violence Day.
How will you commemorate the day?
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
(1869 – 1948) was the pre-eminent political and spiritual leader of India during the Indian independence movement. He was the pioneer of satyagraha—resistance to tyranny through mass civil disobedience, firmly founded upon total non-violence—which led India to independence and has inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. Gandhi is commonly known around the world as Mahatma Gandhi (“Great Soul”), an honorific first applied to him by Rabindranath Tagore) and in India also as Bapu (“Father”). He is officially honored in India as the Father of the Nation; his birthday, 2 October, is commemorated there as Gandhi Jayanti, a national holiday, and worldwide as the International Day of Non-Violence.
Time to get busy–deadline is October 10
I know–there’s an “official” day for everything from hangnails to Public Broadcasting…and I’d never tell you how to prioritize…but you’ve got this weekend to get your plans made for Monday.
September 21…got plans? Then get cracking. It is the United Nations’ International Peace Day.
Peace Day—21 September—is a day of non-violence and ceasefire, a 24 hour-long platform for life-saving activities around the world. There are astounding events and inspiring actions going on across the globe. When all the energy that is put into violent conflict is, even if for only one day, freed up to be put into something productive–just imagine what can be accomplished. The movement has truly world-altering goals–like free school supplies for every child in the world–immunizations from killing disease available in every community…
Find a way to take action. Organize an activity, talk to your family and friends, put up a sign at the coffee house or library, fly a peace flag, make a connection, reach out, build bridges, and most importantly, solve conflicts. It can be small it can be enormous. Apologize to someone, fess up to something you’ve meant to, just find a way to smooth the way. Disempower conflict. There is no downside to finding peace within yourself and within your relationships…and within the world.
On August 27, residents and visitors in Cozumel, Mexico bid Bon Voyage to the Trimaran Zamna, the “Peace Ship,” a handcrafted, triple-masted, wooden boat built in Veracruz.
The Ship of Peace is on a four-and-a-half-month voyage of the Atlantic that makes several ambassadorial stops along the way to it’s final destination, the Port of Pireus in Greece.
It’s mission to spread the message of World Peace is aptly launched from the Island of Cozumel, free of any military conflict since the ancient Maya—it was declared “The Island of Peace” by a United Nations-backed organization, the International Committee for the Banner of Peace.
On board, as the most symbolic of all the ambassadors carrying the message of global acceptance to nations abroad, is a 12-year-old Mayan boy who was raised by a local fishing family in Cozumel. He is the figurehead of the project known as “The Child, the Sea, and Cozumel for Peace.” At each of 15 international ports there will be a ceremony where this young traveler will exchange the flag of Mexico and the “Flag of Peace” with a local youth bearing that nation’s flag.
It’s a nice thought for a Wednesday, I think…
Pupils from Juja Preparatory School plant trees
Each year, June 5 is World Environment Day, a day marked by the United Nations to bring global awareness to stewardship of the planet. This year’s theme is “Your Planet Needs You.” No kidding…
If you don’t make every day World Environment Day, you’re letting the rest of us down. This year’s UN event is hosted by Mexico–Mexico City, of course, is one of the most polluted cities in the world, and Swine Flu, drug cartel violence, and several recent earthquakes make Mexico a tough sell these days. When a destination is hardest hit is when we need to roll up our sleeves and work most diligently.
So have you booked your Mexico trip yet?
Part of WED (World Environment Day) is the worldwide “Billion Tree Campaign” and Mexico is taking on getting 25% of those seedlings into the ground.
Click here for a list of daily tips to make small changes in your own life to help the issue of climate change. It is definitely your/our responsibility to help take us off the crash course on which we find ourselves.
The United Nations is usually considered a pretty buttoned up place with lots of posturing and three-piece suits. Not so much yesterday when a traditional Maori ceremony, a powhiri, marked the beginning of the tenure of the new leader of the United Nations Development Program, Helen Clark. Clark was the former prime minister of New Zealand, and this is the first time a woman will hold the third highest office in the UN.
The powhiri is a traditional Maori ceremony which takes place when manuhiri, or visitors, and tangata whenua, or people of the land, meet. Te Arikinui Kingi Tuheitia, the Maori King and Paramount Chief, led the Maori delegation, dressed in traditional garb, in presenting Clark to her new UN family.
Clark now heads an arm of the organization that is dedicated to helping the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people. She will tackle some of the planet’s largest issues on behalf of the United Nations, including poverty, the environment and conservation, and HIV/AIDS.