100 Day Countdown
The UN has dedicated the 2016 International Day of Peace to “The Sustainable Development Goals–Building Blocks for Peace.” The Summer of Peace leading up to September 21 gives us the opportunity to shift from concern about the great challenges facing our nation and our world to taking a stand on Peace Day as one human community united in hope. We will discuss plans at the United Nations and hear guests around the world highlighting the actions of people serving a wide range of causes yet building together a new culture of peace. Each international guest will partner with a young person from their region, some of whom will recite a poem or play music.
Kimberly Mann is the chief of the Education Outreach Section in the Outreach Division of the United Nations (UN) Department of Public Information. This Section is comprised of the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme, The Remember Slavery Programme and the Model UN Programme (UN4MUN). Since 2006, Mann has developed an international network of partners and a multifaceted outreach initiative on the Holocaust that includes print and online educational materials, seminars, exhibits, student video conferences, a film series and teacher training. This approach is now being followed by the Remember Slavery Programme, which honors the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade to help fight racism. She has achieved a global impact with both of these programs, working closely with the United Nations Information Centres. Together with the UN4MUN team, Mann developed the first Model UN Programme on the Holocaust and Genocide Prevention. She also represents the UN at the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, a global task force for Holocaust remembrance, education and research.
Jane Goodall, Ph.D., DBE
In July 1960, at the age of 26, Jane Goodall, Ph.D., DBE, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace, traveled from England to what is today Tanzania and bravely entered the little-known world of wild chimpanzees. She was equipped with nothing more than a notebook and a pair of binoculars. But with her unyielding patience and characteristic optimism, she won the trust of these initially shy creatures. She managed to open a window into their sometimes strange and often familiar-seeming lives. The public was fascinated and remains so to this day. Today, Jane’s work revolves around inspiring action on behalf of endangered species, particularly chimpanzees, and encouraging people to do their part to make the world a better place for people, animals, and the environment we all share. The Jane Goodall Institute works to protect the famous chimpanzees of Gombe National Park in Tanzania, but recognizes this can’t be accomplished without a comprehensive approach that addresses the needs of local people who are critical to chimpanzee survival. Our community-centered conservation programs in Africa include sustainable development projects that engage local people as true partners. These programs began around Gombe in 1994, but have since been replicated in other parts of the continent. Likewise, Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots, which Jane started with a group of Tanzania students in 1991, is today the Institute’s global environmental and humanitarian youth program for young people from preschool through university with nearly 150,000 members in more than 130 countries.
Dagmar Berkenberg is the Office Manager of World Peace Prayer Society in Europe. She lives in the outskirts of Munich, Bavaria, with her husband Peter and daughter Laura. She attended the Munich Institute for Translators and Interpreters and had been working in the tourism industry of Australia before she met Hiroo and Masami Saionji in 1993. Dagmar began to establish a Continental Europe office for them and has been working there ever since. The variety of possibilities to spread the message MAY PEACE PREVAIL ON EARTH still impresses her. Apart from her passion to network with people worldwide, Dagmar loves homeopathy & natural healing, reading and travelling and for the last 3 years volunteering for refugees who look for peace in Southern Germany.
Kaja Imhof is currently completing her practical training at RadioChico Switzerland. In the future she very much wishes to work in the field of media. She is a student at Fachmittleschule Oberwil in Switzerland.
Ambassador Mussie Hailu
Ambassador Mussie Hailu is a peace activist working at national, regional and international levels for peace, reconciliation, interfaith harmony, disarmament, the Golden Rule, world citizenship, right human relationships, and international cooperation. He identifies himself as a Citizen of the World, strongly believes in the interdependence of human beings, and celebrates cultural diversity. He sees the differences in race, ethnicities, religions, politics, and nationalities as important elements of the one and indivisible humanity. Mussie, building on Scarboro Mission’s Golden Rule poster, is circulating tens of thousands of an African version of the poster. He has served African and global organizations, including United Nations agencies, and he is a founding member of United Religions Initiative. Currently he serves as regional director of URI for Africa and representative of URI at the Economic Commission for Africa and African Union.
Fr. James Channan
Fr. James Channan OP is a Pakistani Christian and a Catholic priest. He is the URI Regional Coordinator for Pakistan and Executive Director of Peace Center, Lahore. He served as Globe Trustee of URI. He worked with the Vatican's Commission for Religious Relations with Muslims for 5 years and as Consultant to the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue for 10 years. Pope John Paul II appointed him as Consultant for both of these responsibilities. Fr. Channan attended the Pontifical Institute for Islamic Studies and Arabic language in Rome from 1982-85 and obtained a Licentiate Degree. He also earned a Master’s Degree in Counseling from Emmanuel College, Boston, USA, and received graduate credits from Harvard University, USA, and a course on Peace Building from American University, Washington, DC, USA. He earned an Honorary “Doctor of Divinity” Degree from Norway. He served as Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Christian Muslim Relations for 17 years. He was the primary organizer of URI's 1,500-mile Journey for Peace from Karachi to Khyber. He keeps on travelling around the globe to participate in and give presentations in international conferences on interreligious dialogue. He is the author of 4 books, 2 in English and 2 in Urdu. He has devoted his life to promoting dialogue among religions.
Zara Pervaiz is a youth from Pakistan and a student of BA Honors in linguistics at Kinnaird College of Women in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. Zara is a very active member of the United Religions Initiative in Pakistan and she is also coordinator of "Light of Hope CC" in Lahore, Pakistan. She has been a speaker at the Symphony of Peace Prayers 2016 and Soul of WoMen programs.
Maria Ying-Matthews is Founder and Chairman of Peace International Foundation. The Hong Kong-based non-profit organization was established in 2008, with the mission to advance United Nations peace initiatives through youth-centered education and empowerment in Hong Kong and beyond. Maria began her career with the Australian Trade Commission, where she specialized in student education. She entered the commercial sector, working as Manager and then General Manager starting with the Inchape Group, Cartier, Femina Publishing and the Royal Selengor Group. She then set up her own companies Markets Asia and Tablecharm in Hong Kong and Australia, which provided consultancy services in project planning, marketing and management in the Asia-Pacific region. She also provided private personal development coaching to senior executives and organized launch events for international companies seeking to establish a presence in Hong Kong and Mainland China. Maria’s extensive experience in commerce, along with her long-term passion for world peace, led her to delve into the non-profit sector and develop an international platform to promote peace among the youth of Hong Kong and beyond through the launch of the Peace International Foundation. Maria trained as a teacher at Northcote Teachers Training College and studied Sales and Marketing Management at Syracuse University.
Sharon Yuen is currently a senior student at Li Po Chun United World College of Hong Kong. Extremely passionate about creative work and helping others, she has initiated and led various activities for community service and charity. Her focus at PIF is on designing and organizing activities for youths to learn more about the Culture of Peace, and to understand and accept diversity in order to live harmoniously within the society. Sharon is outspoken about sexism, racism and ableism, and cares deeply about the environment. She believes that the first step to change is to become aware. She aspires to work toward eliminating different forms of discrimination, and improving the environment, for a better world for mankind.
Athena Wong is currently a Form 5 student studying in Diocesan Girls' School in Hong Kong. She is the principal cellist for both the school's string orchestra and symphony orchestra. Joining the Peace International Youth Orchestra in 2014, Athena became a member of the management committee in 2015, as the secretary of the orchestra; at the same time continued to play in the orchestra as the vice-principal cellist. Athena also helped in recruiting members and organising events for the UN International Day of Peace /Hong Kong Peace Festival 2015. Athena has a strong commitment for peace and harmony through music.
Angelina Gabaitse does Partner Outreach and Coordination for We, The World and the WE Campaign in Botswana, Africa. She is planning programs and events during 11 Days of Global Unity September 11-21 that foster collaboration and cooperation between local groups in support of the Sustainable Development Goals and the UN International Day of Peace September 21st. She is working in partnership with the Environment Department of University of Botswana on a Video that conveys the effect of Climate Change in the Southern African Region. This video will serve as a tool to raise awareness and to advice policy makers on solutions that can assist on building a better & greener future.Angelina is also the Founder and Director of Lemon & Vinegar (PTY) LTD,a company that focuses on the production and preservation of fruit and vegetables. She is also doing course-work with Chartered Institute of Management Accounting.
Mpho Sebina is an emerging singer-songwriter in Botswana. Before pursuing her career in the music Industry, she studied & graduated with an honors degree in international business from the Multimedia University Malaysia. It was during her studies that she started exploring writing, recording & vocal training. She frequently performs during corporate functions as well as local music festivals where she shared the stage with international legends such as Ringo Madlingozi, HHP, Smith Black Mambazo, Shanti Lo, Nnunu Ramogotsi & Louis Mhlangato to name a few. In 2016 she brought Naked Soul Sessions to life, an intimate acoustic night which features a different local artist every month.