Swiss foundation Culture Ticino Network held its 6th Peace Forum in Lugano on 14-16 November 2016. The three-day event, which bannered the theme, “Social Justice: The Right to Employment and Education”, aimed to promote and spread the culture of peace at work and in schools through public forums, cultural events and workshops.
The event kicked off in the afternoon of 12th November with a Roundtable Discussion on the subject, “Social Justice: Work and Employment”. Discussions focused on a number of topics including fight against poverty, interrelations between education and labor market inclusion, social cohesion within the context of current developments in Europe and Switzerland.
Photos: Participants attend the forum on “Social Justice: Work and Employment”
Speakers at the roundtable included notable Swiss and Italian figures such as Sr. Anna Monia Alfieri, President of the FIDAE Lombardy and Coordinator of the Permanent Table on Equality, Department of Education, Training and Employment, Lombardy Region; Prof. Fabrizio Mazzonna, Senior Assistant Professor of Health Economics at the Università della Svizzera Italiana of Lugano; Dotti Piera Levi Montalcini, Electrical Engineer and Municipal Councillor of the City of Turin, and a social advocate particularly of women and children’s rights. Journalist Antonio Franzi moderated the discussions.
The roundtable Discussions were followed by a gala dinner embracing the theme “Solidarity of Flavors” at Ai Giardini di Sassa restaurant. Cultural performances from duo Le UNIO and illusionist Daniele Er. Former RSI journalist and member of the Ticino Grand Council, Maristella Polli, served as Master of Ceremonies. The gala dinner was a fundraising event for the renovation of the Orphanage Bethany House of Sto. Nino in the Philippines.
In her speech, Minister and Consul General Maria Theresa S.M. Lazaro of the Philippine Embassy said, “A social justice lawyer said that the opposite of poverty is not wealth but social justice. Social justice can mean a lot of things for different people. But for the children in the Bethany House orphanage that Culture Ticino Network supports, it means the chance to have a simple, decent life with a roof over their heads; to live in dignity and avoid being forced to roam the streets and become victims to drugs.”
A concert entitled “Voices in Solidarity” featuring the Incontrotempo Choir of Milan and the Choir of Val Genzana Massagno, was held on the second day. The last day was dedicated to workshops of schoolchildren, during which children were taught skills for promoting peace and non-violence through active listening, dialogue and mediation, and cooperative learning.
The funds raised during the three-day event will be used to help rehabilitate Bethany House of Sto. Nino, an orphanage in the Philippines, and the “Petals of Peace”, an after-school program for primary school children in Ticino.
By making the Bethany House orphanage a major beneficiary of its annual events, Culture Ticino Network has created a bridge of cultural understanding between the canton of Ticino and the Philippines. END