30 July 2015

Friendship is The Answer

Since 2011, 30 of September is the International Day of Friendship. This day was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly with the idea that friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities. 

"On this International Day of Friendship, let us cultivate warm ties that strengthen our common humanity and promote the well-being of the human family. "
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

We can find countless stories that are turned into poems, books, movies, series, pictures, drawings and paintings about all kind of friendships. Friendship is something very primitive and relatable to most of the people in all cultures, ages and layers of the society. I know what is friendship, you know what is friendship and a person from another continent who comes from rural village also knows what is friendship. It has a power to unite and it is a very strong tool to encourage other people. A single friendship between two people can be life changing for many.
Instead of cultivating prejudices and hate towards new and unknown by hiding under the words "hate" and "enemies" we should want to understand and befriend it - either people, views or beliefs. Same advice works for individuals as well as conflicts in the world.
Friendship can be used as a great tool for women empowerment worldwide. Instead of connecting to other women and telling them what to do we should simply be supporting, understanding friends who give good advice. A good friend can help to become more confident and self conscious more than an inspiring article or video online. All we have to do is to take good care of the girls and women around us instead of criticizing each for our looks or behavior.
We are very diverse in the world and activists in some cultures want to appear as superior when it comes to feminism and gender equality. These activists are strongly convinced and are trying to convince the rest of the world that "we are right and you have to follow our example". Confidence is awesome and these actions are mostly driven by good intentions but it tends to patronize and discriminate activists from developing countries with the same views. And it is discouraging. That's why it is so important to have friends that are coming from different backgrounds, cultures and religions so we can unite and fight the real problems not each other!

Talking about good friendships...look IHBG team is growing, changing and moving around! Recently we met in Brussels, had amazing days together to refresh our knowledge and learn more about sexual and reproductive health and rights, communication, advocacy and plan new activities! Meantime we found few new and amazing friends so keep tuned to find out more!

And don't forget:
Happiness is only real when shared
J. Krauker

Happy International Day of Friendship!
Always yours,