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Peace must begin at family level: Ndanga - Zimbabwe Today
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Peace must begin at family level: Ndanga

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THE INTERVIEW Lovemore Chikova
LC: What is the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification and what does it do?

AJN: The Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, the FFWPU, is a sister organisation of the Universal Peace Federation. The Universal Peace Federation is a non-governmental organisation with a general consultative status with the United Nations (UN) through the UN Economic and Social Council. It is an international and inter religious network of individuals and organisations comprising representatives of religion, Government, civil society and the private sector. On the other hand, the FFWPU is a faith-based organisation, a network of families and family-related organisations from different religions with the goal of promoting ideal families as envisaged by God. The two organisations were founded by Dr Sun Myung Moon and his wife Dr Hak Ja Han Moon. Theirs is a mission they received from Jesus Christ which was given to Father Moon who says he met Jesus when he was about 15-years-old and was tasked with a mission to return people back to the Garden of Eden status. Adam and Eve were chased from the Garden of Eden, yet when they were created, God’s plan was for them to stay in the garden where there were no problems, people were happy and had access to everything they wanted. But from the time Adam and Eve were misled by Satan, they offended God and were chased away. That is when problems started when they were now outside, with Cain and Abel starting a fight and creating conflict. Father Moon and Mother Moon say there is conflict and lack of peace in the world today because people are living outside the Garden of Eden. As long as we live outside, it means we are not living according to God’s plan. We are following our own ways. That is the background to the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification.

LC: What is the significance of the family as expounded by this organisation and how does it hope to build strong families?

AJN: The Family Federation emphasises that since the first institution on earth is the family — that is husband and wife and probably children, then peace must start from that nucleus. When God created the man, he saw that it was not enough and the man needed a helper. That is when God created Eve, so the pair became complete. That means God’s original plan is for us to stay in the Garden of Eden as a family, but when Adam and Eve went out, they acted on behalf of the entire humankind. God had to raise Jesus to have another person who would return people to the garden. But Jesus faced huge resistance and worked for only three years. God has not stopped raising people with the same mission of restoring the Garden of Eden on earth.

In all this matrix, the importance of strengthening families is that we will be pushing for true love and living in peace. If we have peace and forgiveness from the family level, we will be ready to live according to God’s plan of creation. Wars and political problems testify that we are living outside God’s plan.

LC: What initiatives is the FFWPU taking in Zimbabwe to ensure the country achieves total peace?

AJN: We have many organisations within Universal Peace Federation. FFWPU is one of them which focuses on strengthening families, educating them and striving for a blessing to go to the marriages. We have programmes on character education for youths and programmes in arts for peace. The FFWPU even trains martial arts for peace etc. There are many things done by FFWPU which exists in more than 200 countries. There is the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace and Zimbabwe will soon have its own version. There is the International Chiefs Association for Peace and Prosperity. There is also the Inter-religious Association for Peace and Development, mainly for religions. What these organisations aim at is to have all of us come together and share the vision of peace because it pushes us forward. In Zimbabwe, the International Chiefs Association for Peace and Prosperity is being launched soon. We had a meeting with the Chiefs Council recently and there are many meetings we held with the Speaker of Parliament so that we can be able to launch the peace association for chiefs and that for parliamentarians.

LC: How does Zimbabwe stand to benefit from this organisation, apart from the peace initiatives mentioned above?

AJN: All these organs of the FFWPU attract many big projects. Mother Moon is coming to Zimbabwe and subsequently to Africa, because after the Harare Peace and Family Festival, she will be proceeding to South Africa for the African Peace Summit. It’s the second summit in Africa, the first was held in Senegal, Dakar, in December last year. The fact that it is being held in South Africa this time brings all countries to Africa. So, there are projects which are supported because the founder of FFWPU believes that if people are poor, it shows they do not have peace. If you are poor, you do not have peace. There is inner peace which is just a fraction of the totality of peace. Even the environment around you determines the peace you have. Many people are preaching inner peace, which is not the best. The best is to address peace as a complete entity. The view and mission of Father and Mother Moon is that a person should have a good life, without a threat and moving and living freely.

At international forums and conferences, we hold we even discuss issues to do with climate change. The main goal is for people to live in harmony.

What is important is that what unites us is bigger than what separates us. We are supposed to value what unites us. We will be missing opportunities if we spend time fighting. We cannot even work in such an environment because we will be concentrating on fighting. As the people of Zimbabwe, our desire should be to achieve peace and shun confrontation.

LC: Tell us about the FFWPU Zimbabwe chapter and its work towards helping achieve total peace in the country?

AJN: The FFWPU Zimbabwe chapter’s work is to ensure that Zimbabwe develops to the same level with other countries, more than 200 of them which participate in the international organisation. Our aim is to uplift the flag of Zimbabwe so that it can also be recognised at the global level that there is Zimbabwe which deserves to get support like any other country. We do not want Zimbabwe to be isolated — that is our mission.

We want Zimbabwe to be part of the global family and as Zimbabwe and many other nations, we are one united family under one God. This can be achieved if we have total peace within our families, at workplaces, in public places and in the country as a whole.

LC: Let’s turn to Wednesday, November 21, that is next week. What will be happening at the peace and family festival at the National Sports Stadium?

AJN: It’s more of a launch of the peace initiative for Zimbabwe and the local chapter of the FFWPU. Launch in the context that we need a platform to preach from because we cannot start talking about peace without a foundation. So, the 21 November festival is meant to set the foundation and the founder, that is Mother Moon, is coming to lay the foundation together with our Head of State and Government President Mnangagwa. If the two agree to lay that foundation, the work on peace becomes easy to start. That is the main mission — to launch the organisation and the “Peace starts with me, peace starts with my family” mantra. When we adopt that slogan, it is also the same in several other countries. Even the late national hero and Vice President John Nkomo was an ambassador for peace working for the same organisation. FFWPU was in Zimbabwe for over 30 years, but the people involved did not do anything to formally launch it. When we came in, we started advocating its formal launch in Zimbabwe.

LC: What other activities should people expect at the stadium?

AJN: There will be speeches, there will be prayers, there will also be music for peace from various artists to bring back Zimbabweans to the level where they view issues in the same way. We all like music and it entertains us, so, musicians like Minister Michael Mahendere, Oliver Mtukudzi, Mathias Mhere and many others will be there.

We wanted to organise a football match between bishops and MPs, but we realised that our programme is tight. There will be the blessing of couples and marriages.

As I speak, the number of 40 000 couples whose marriages we expect to bless has been surpassed overwhelmingly. We need enough security to ensure people can move to their sitting places with ease.

We need to have screens outside the stadium to cater for those who fail to fit in the stadium. But it will be a big day.

This function will be dominated by people from four provinces — that is Harare, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East and Mashonaland West. But there will be two buses for each of the remaining provinces. We also organised awards for journalists who write about peace.

LC: Which other local organisations are you working with on this event and in the future?

AJN: We had a meeting with the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission, but we have not yet given each other the roles, but they will try and help us with the winners of the awards. The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) is also involved and all churches are part of the programme. This festival is clearly part of religious tourism as it attracts people from all over the world to Zimbabwe. There are lots of opportunities, including international scholarships for Zimbabweans. The desk dealing with that is going to be launched soon.

LC: I see you have also invited President Mnangagwa.

AJN: The President is the custodian of our nation, and peace is an important subject to us. It is very important to our development matrix because investors only come where peace prevails. President Mnangagwa as the custodian of our nation has got to be there and help the process of launching this peace initiative which augurs well with the development aspirations of our nation. Normally, when Mother Moon travels, she travels with lots of people who are eager to invest in the countries they will be visiting. The press also follows her, and she is coming with people from big media houses like Washington Times and Peace TV. Mother Moon could also be interested to invest in Zimbabwe and if she does, she is a big investor. Everywhere in the world you find she is involved in a lot of investment and many other programmes. Many members of the peace movement around the world have been inquiring on investing in Zimbabwe. But we aware there will be some individuals who do not want to see peace in Zimbabwe and they will start saying why are we inviting these people. My word to these people is that they should also come to the stadium for them to learn a thing or two from this peace initiative.

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