WFWP Watford/UK, Bridge of Peace Meeting, 6 July 2014

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Grand Mother’s Power! The Watford Bridge of Peace met on Sunday July 6th for a discussion about “Reflecting on Women’s Unique Value, Building Self Esteem”. It had been quite a while since the ladies of the Bridge of Peace had all come together at the Multi Cultural Community Centre. We had met on other occasions for example in town for a cup of tea, at the Watford Celebration, the interfaith Pilgrimage and other times. It was good to see each other again. Over the years we have developed such a special bond among us, often calling each other ‘Peace Sisters’. We started the afternoon with welcoming remarks by Françoise Murphy who showed a Power Point Presentation giving an overview of the activities of the Watford Bridge of Peace since it began in 2003. Mitty Tohma, WFWP UK President read from a speech from Dr Hak Ja Han Moon, founder of the Women’s Federation for World Peace. Dr Moon stated that women will play an increasingly important role in the bringing of world peace and women need to understand their values and potential. Teresa Murray, Life Coach at the Watford Women’s Centre, explained about her work helping women to change their lives, find their value and build greater self esteem. We took a break after the two speakers and enjoyed some homemade snacks brought by the ladies. We were especially moved by our Muslim sisters. Although they were fasting following their practice of Ramadan, they not only came but they also brought their special dishes for all of us to share. The ladies reflected afterwards in small groups on the topic of the afternoon. They shared their views on what is a life of value, what is unique to women and where we can draw our self esteem from. ‘Grand Mother’s Power!’ That’s the word. We realised that especially the older women with life experiences, wisdom and motherly love are a great asset to the healing of our world and the resolution of conflicts.  We concluded the afternoon by giving Ambassador for Peace awards to 4 ladies: Gillian Heath and Phyllis Chase long time Peace Sisters, Teresa Murray our speaker and Cllr Bilqee Mauthor. Bilqee had attended our Bridge of Peace event last year for the first time. On that occasion we were discussing about “Should women take more initiative and responsibilities in our troubled world?” Inspired by the talk and her conversation with Mitty, she decided to go ahead with her wish to become a Councillor and was eventually elected a few months later. Bilqees’ mother, moved by the experience of the afternoon, asked for our help to bring the Bridge of Peace WFWP to her country of Mauritius. She took some photos for the Mauritius newspaper and told us that she will speak with someone in her government and see how the Bridge of Peace WFWP could be adopted in Mauritius. Teresa from the Watford Women’s Centre invited us to participate in some of her workshops on ‘Self Esteem’. A young lady from the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints invited us to speak at their conference on ‘The Family’ in September. Many thanks to all who came and supported the event. Françoise Murphy WFWP Watford, UK

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