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.
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.