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Activities of the Santa Barbara Association for UNESCO
an article by Bill Allaway

Here is some of the progress being made by our Santa Barbara Association for UNESCO.

In late June and early July I joined a delegation from Goleta Presbyterian Church (GPC) to establish a relationship with the Ebeneezer Patriensa Presbyterian Church to assist in strengthening their ability to further economic development through the church. Part of this involves working with the church to establish a bread-making bakery to serve the community; another segment is to assist in seeing that all the children in the village can attend the local school, which is operated by the church; and a further activity is to work with the church to create a market for providing solar lamps to the community. On behalf of SBAU $600 has been sent to the School to provide work books for the children so that none are turned away because they cannot afford them. In addition, we visited the Patriensa Telecentre, which is the focal point for classes in information technology and for providing work for locals making furniture and adapting bicycles for use in hauling farm produce, and a committee will be meeting shortly to plan for the development of the telecentre by SBAU.

click on photo to enlarge

The second major activity of the summer was a concert entitled "Many Voices, One Song: Thresholds to a Culture of Peace, featuring four diverse vocal music ensembles, interspersed with both commentary by Dr. Ernie Tamminga, relating the music to the celebration of the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence Towards Children, and songs by Jeanne Martin on the Celtic Harp. The finale was the four groups combining to sing a number composed by Ben F. Allaway entitled "Since Wars Begin in the Minds of Men" which is based on the preamble to the UNESCO Constitution which was written by famed poet and diplomat, Archibald MacLeish, conducted by the composer.

The four featured vocal groups were: Mama's Voices--a subset of the Inner Light Gospel Choir (gospel music, ranging from soothing to driving; Random Distribution--(4-part vocal harmony with string and percussion accompaniment rooted in American Folk); Jorge Mijangos and Sabra Weber--members of Cascada de Flores (songs from Mexico and South America); and the Vocal Scholars--(a capella music in the European Classical tradition).

The concert, which was held at the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara, was attended by approximately 200 people and was cosponsored by SBAU, PAX 2100, the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara, and the Fund for Santa Barbara, which provided some needed assistance. The concert was followed by a reception on the patio which featured snacks, drinks and the opportunity to discuss the significance of the concert with the attendees and performers. A number of organizations displayed written materials and representatives were available to answer inquiries.


Question(s) related to this article:

How important is community development for a culture of peace?,

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Latest reader comment:

Community plays a important role in developing culture peace. We should promote our cultural values by interacting with each other and making these values part of our daily lives. A good example of this would be raising our children according to beliefs and values which are important for us and our cultural peace. We can also promote cultural peace by making small commuinties within big community and share different ideas and bring new ones in.

This report was posted on October 31, 2007.