This morning Valeriane Bernard participated in the RINGO meeting (Research Institutions NGO), as Brahma Kumaris is part of this constituency within the Major Groups of the United Nations. It was a short meeting but Valeriane had the opportunity to meet some of the drafters of the declaration that RINGO will present at the COP 18 (text will follow).
Meeting of faith-based civil society groups
Valeriane represented the Brahma Kumaris. It was a very good meeting with over 20 different faith based organisations strategizing in order to get their voice heard in the Climate Change negotiations. The hope is that the voice of the victims of climate change, who belong to the different faiths around the world, can be heard and taken into consideration.
Valeriane could share with them Sister Jayanti’s comments regarding silence. She suggested a minute of silence at the UNFCCC negotiations’ sessions to allow parties remembering their mandate of protecting the people of their countries and to recreate the missing spirit of collaboration between the countries at the time of negotiating.
The meeting was coordinated by Dr Nigel Crawhall, Director of Secretariat Indigenous Peoples of Africa Co-ordinating Committee, who has met us in Nairobi and who works in close relationship with the Brahma Kumaris in Cape Town.
Side event at Birla Public School
The last hour before the school ends was the time chosen for the 10th grade students on a very interesting session "Design Your Destiny". The session began with a simple ice breaker - The Wave. The 180 students waved their hands like crowds in a stadium and the teachers too were excited. The session continued by dividing in three stages: explore, express and exchange.
Explore - the students were asked to explore/reflect upon " What does destiny mean to you?", and "What are the main ingredients for a good destiny?”
Express - As there were equal boys and girls, 2 from each side were chosen. Each of student gave beautiful answers in the form of expressing their views. This session was mainly was to enable students to open up with all and not be shy to share their knowledge.
Exchange - the students were finally asked to exchange with each other of a picture of destiny in their mind. This could be anything that defines destiny.
The event ended with a wonderful quote:
"Don't run behind Success... Run to excel in life and Success is automatically yours".
Dealing with Conflict
There was an opportunity to share some insight on personal development for the Management Team at local energy company in Doha. The company’s Managing Director from the Al-Thani Royal Family is very supportive of Doha hosting COP 18.
Anthony Phelips from Brahma Kumaris Retreat Centre in Oxford gave a power talk on how to shift your awareness to be driven from the inside out, and therefore creating more happiness in life. He started by asking the audience: Have you ever been angry? Have you ever been irritated? Do you feel good then? He also shared from his experience of being successful in the marketing field. One measurement of success is my relationships with colleagues, staff or clients. Are my relationship getting better, the worse or the same?
There are two formulas to operate your life on – from outside to in, or from inside out. The formula of outside in, is that what is happening out there will decide how I feel It is the life a slave. The alternative formula is the formula of the king, is how do I feel? Then I look out and say: what is going? The first formula is what is going on? Now, how do I feel?
As the presentation was in the context of COP18 being held in Doha, there was also the opportunity for Sonja Ohlsson to share about Brahma Kumaris Environment Initiative.
Joachim Golo Pilz finished by a inspiring presentation about the opportunities for alternative energy in this part of the world which has the most sunshine in the world. The presentation being held in an oil company, it was interesting to see the interest in renewable energies.