Global Peace Women-Paraguay honored eight women leaders in areas of education, social service, health care, and faith-based social action at the sixth annual Awards Ceremony, “Women Living for the Sake of Others,” in Asuncion on June 18, 2014.
The public event seeks not only to raise awareness of individual lives of service, but also encourage others to develop and utilize their abilities and unique gifts to foster a more peaceful, harmonious and prosperous society.
Following a performance of the National Anthem by the Chamber Orchestra of the National Police, Global Peace Women-Paraguay President Maria Ester Jimenez welcomed an overflow audience of more than 400 guests, including senators, ministers of state, and international leadership of the Global Peace Foundation.
“We feel deeply honored with the presence of such a select audience,” Ms. Jimenez said. “Let us remember that the annual awards ceremony is a symbol given to prominent women with the purpose of praising their roles, the results of their hard work, and the contribution made to the greatness of our people, visible to Paraguayan society.”
Ms. Jimenez also reminded the guests that 2014 is the twentieth anniversary of the International Year of the Family, which encouraged states to develop policies to strengthen and support families. While acknowledging advances, she said much work remaining to be done. “We are missing integral political action that has [the welfare of] family, children, mothers and the elderly as an objective. The better the family is, the better family members are.”
A challenging environment
Some 2014 award winners live and work in an especially difficult environment, the Paraguayan Chaco. The GPW Paraguay President said the inherent challenges of the Chaco have become critical because of recent floods, adding, “We shouldn’t express only admiration towards the present awardees, but solidarity as well. Thank you for the service, leadership, bravery and courage which drive your actions. May God bless and inspire these leaders to live for the sake of others as one family under God.”
Cristina Jae Soon Field, International Director of Global Peace Women Latin America, said that “every year is a special honor to meet the new winners and to participate in this inspiring event. Global Peace Women is dedicated to pointing out the unique challenges faced by women, children and families, and to the development of the innate value of women so they can contribute in building happy families, a healthy society and a peaceful world.”
Pride and distinction
The 2014 Global Peace Women awardees at the ceremony included Ligia Prieto de Centurión, Yolanda Noemi Canale de Bogarín, Sister María de las Mercedes Calle Díaz, Encarnación Chony Calderon, Vilma Lisandra Aquino de Ortiz, Ida Benítez de Fernández, Marta Alvarenga de Duarte y María Elena Chamorro de Aguilera.
The women work in areas of education, health care, politics, and journalism, with many recognized with significant awards for their commitment to help the Paraguayan community. The event and awardees also highlighting the spiritual and personal benefit of giving without expecting anything in return.
If you are a good person you can try to understand others, their intention, their faith, interest, their difficulties and their tragedies.
Speaking on behalf of all award winners, journalist and writer Chony Calderon said the event brought “a lot of emotion. It is a great responsibility which we assume, to live for the sake of others—a beautiful slogan. Today I was dedicated some words that said ‘To practice journalism, above all, you have to be a good human being, because bad people cannot be good journalists.’
“If you are a good person you can try to understand others, their intention, their faith, interest, their difficulties and their tragedies. These words are apt for all the awardees, only dedication to service takes us toward becoming good people, because we wish to be good people, so we strive to become so. People that do what they do with good intentions, despite difficulties and tragedies, these are the proof of the great people at heart we have in our country.”
Distinguished guests at the event included Senator Lilian Samaniego, Minister of Women Ana Maria Vallardi, Minister of National Culture Mrs. Mabel Causarano, Alto Paraguay Governor Marlene Ocampos, Minister of Justice High Court Maria Elena Wapenka, Senator Emilia Franco de Alfaro, Commander of the Armed Forces Jorge Francisco Ramirez Gomez, and Global Peace Foundation International President James Flynn.
2014 Global Peace Convention
Event organizers also announced that the 2014 Global Peace Convention will be hosted in Asuncion in November. Previous conventions have been hosted in Manila (2009), Nairobi (2010), Seoul (2011), Atlanta (2012) and Kuala Lumur (2013). During the assemblies, more than one thousand government, faith-based and civil society leaders from around the world collaborate to advance social cohesion and sustainable development through innovative, multi-sector initiatives.