"This award is such a significant distinction. It's a great incentive to what we do as women, to makes us feel the love of others who recognize us and value the work we do."
—María Elena Wapenka, Minister of Superior Court of Electoral Justice
By Emiko Perea
Ten years ago, the first “Living for the Sake of Others” awards ceremony was held in the capital city of Paraguay, Asunción. Mrs. Jae Soon Cristina Field, a founding member of the women’s division of Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Paraguay, suggested to a group of local women leaders to hold a public awards ceremony to honor and appreciate Paraguayan women who served their communities and nation. The idea resonated with these women leaders, and a decade later, 75 Paraguayan women from all sectors of society have been honored at one of Global Peace Women’s (GPW) annual “Living for the Sake of Others” award ceremonies. To commemorate this significant milestone, GPW Paraguay held a special 10th Anniversary awards ceremony on November 15, 2018. Around two hundred guests attended this significant event, including senators, congresswomen, government officials, judges, NGO leaders, businesspeople, and over thirty former awardees. Additionally, GPW International Secretary General, Dr. Soonok Kang, along with GPW representatives from Uruguay, Chile and Brazil traveled to Paraguay to celebrate this special occasion together.
“Naturally, women are peace-builders, harmonizers and healers... our world needs our continued commitment and effort, but most importantly, it needs our love and action."
Dr. Soonok Kang expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to participate in such a historic evening. She shared a congratulatory message on behalf of GPW International Chairwoman, Dr. Junsook Moon. “Naturally, women are peace-builders, harmonizers and healers,” she explained. “This is because we are endowed by our Creator with innate qualities of empathy, grace and caring for others. Ladies and gentlemen, our world needs our continued commitment and effort, but most importantly, it needs our love and action. I hope that we can join together in advancing this noble cause to build One Family under God. Peace begins in the home!” From Dr. Junsook Moon’s heartfelt message, the audience realized once more, the inspiring, unique qualities of women.
The six Living for the Sake of Others award recipients included, Miryam Peña Candia, Minister of the Supreme Court of Justice; María Elena Wapenka, Minister of Superior Court of Electoral Justice; Rosanna Rolon, Municipal Councilwoman; Gloria Antonia Meza, President of the Paraguayan Circle of Physicians; Gloria Susana Sacco, Founder of the Dance Academy "Sussy Sacco;" and Mirita Graciela Romero, Director of Health of the Armed Forces. Senator Lilian Samaniego received an honorary award in recognition of her continuous support of Global Peace Foundation since its founding.
Award recipient, Miryam Peña Candia expressed that of all the awards she’s received her life, the “Living for the Sake of Others’” Awards is the most precious. She shared to all the participants how the award would change her life saying, “It will strengthen me, rejuvenate my life and my heart.”
Following the awards ceremony, Vice Minister of Education and Culture, Dr. Fernando Griffit, provided a beautiful speech on the unique role of Paraguayan women in developing the country.
Ten years ago, the awards ceremony was not created to simply hand out awards, but rather to build a network of exceptional women, connecting projects and organizations involved with Global Peace Foundation. These connections enabled them to serve and support each other for the benefit of local communities and nation. GPW Paraguay’s special event has inspired other countries, such as Uruguay, to have their own “Living for the Sake of Others” awards ceremony.
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