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A Legacy of Peace and Harmony Begins with Values and Good Habits and Traditions

Global Peace Women Webinar Peacebuilding from Home to Society  Session 5 Concludes Series

Global Peace Women concluded its Women-led Peacebuilding from Home to Society 2021 Webinar Series with Session 5: “How to Build a Legacy of Peace and Harmony: Lessons from a Century of Peacebuilding,” on June 26, 2021.

Beatriz Muhnoz, project coordinator of GPW Brazil, and educator Dr. Nona Ricafort present at the GPW webinar.

It was a wisdom filled session as Dr. Nona Ricafort, a distinguished educator and women’s advocate from the Philippines, imparted lessons from a shared experience of a century of peacebuilding in her family. Her heartwarming stories highlighted the crucial role of every family member—parents, children and siblings—in building a tradition of peace and harmony.  “Families are God’s gift to each of us, and we are responsible for creating the right relationships and environment to foster peace, respect and courage,” explained Dr. Ricafort.

It is through guidance that children learn to find peace, self-dignity and propriety as they grow, she said. In Dr. Ricafort’s family, her parents’ vision of equality and peace helped her and her siblings grow up to be people who sought peace and harmony both in their family relations and in their world. Being a mother herself, she recognized a mother’s influence on families. She said that it was the dedication to be present and involved as a parent that developed healthy peaceful family relationships.

She shared heartwarming gratitude to her mother who just passed away in March. “In reality, life doesn’t come with a success manual for mothers to follow, but it comes with a grandmother who has set the ideal scenario in life. Grandmother is a little bit parent, a little bit teacher . . . a little bit best friend; and of course, a bit of an angel on earth, now in heaven. Our Great Grandmother, Mama Pinang has demonstrated the art of mothering in teaching the art of living to all of us, her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren and these we shall treasure to the next generation.”

Dr. Ricafort cared for and assisted her parents till the very end. This love, care and service was carried on by her children and their children. She shared some of her family’s legacy of peacebuilding that have passed through three generations.

  • Practice love and respect
  • Provide sacred quality family time
  • Carry out your family responsibility
  • Share with kindness and patience
  • Practice a spirit of forgiveness and togetherness.
  • Follow family home guidelines
  • Conduct family prayers
  • Bury differences and ensure no one is forgotten.
  • Show braveness and courage

Beatriz Muhnoz, project coordinator of GPW Brazil and mother of four, presented her ongoing initiative to help youth, parents, teachers and community leaders talk about, identify and reinforce their values in the family. The program has engaged various circles in a deep dive about values and strategies to affirm and live out those values in family life and by extension the community.

 "Conflict resolution is not about being right, it is about active listening and understanding each other," Beatriz reminded the participants.

The audience tied the two presentations together during the question and answer session as they sought out regional and cultural applications of lessons from both women. The speakers stressed the importance of leading by example to teach children peacebuilding and foster a safe and loving environment. They emphasized the power of tolerance, respect, perseverance and care: the how’s of building healthy families and passing down the lessons of peace and harmony to the future generation.

The session urged everyone to build intentional practices centered on family values that could lay the keystone for a tradition of peace that lasts generations. It starts from simple agreements and habits modeled by the parents and inherited by the children. Everyone can start practicing peacebuilding and investing in the future, starting from themselves.