for the Children of the World
and a street child at the Earth Summit
for the Children of the World: A Model For Building Global Community"
(Virginia Swain's Masters Thesis, Lesley University, 1993)
Celebration for the Children of the World, a model for relieving
the conflict of personal, local and national sovereignty, was inspired
by a vigil of the World's Religions at the Earth Summit in Rio de
Janeiro, June 1992. People of nations, transcending their sovereignty,
came together in Brazil for a celebratory, prayerful experience
of one human family. The street children of Rio de Janeiro contributed
to the inspiration for this model with their clear expressions of
love and joy, even though their immediate needs for food and shelter
were not met.
coalition of sixty United Nations Agencies, members states, Non-Governmental
Organizations (NGOs), religious, environmental and peace organizations
was organized at the United Nations in New York six months later
(December 1992) to build on the groundswell of the Earth Summit.
Included in the theme for one day's event was a morning vigil, at
which 50 New York artists interpreted an Earth Charter written by
Virginia Swain and Barbara Wheeler. This was followed by a celebratory
procession to the United Nations General Assembly lobby where the
coalition gave political support for Chapters 24-26 of Agenda 21
in an afternoon children's celebration. Keynote speeches by UN officials
addressed the need to strengthen the role of indigeous peoples,
children and NGO's. Children's groups sang and danced as teachers
of world peace.
9 December 1992 event included steps to global community designed
to bring sovereign people's and groups together to relieve the conflict
of peoples' national loyalty: the teachings of children and celebration.
people experienced a shift in consciousness from their own sovereign
needs to global community. This was shown by the following changes:
attitudes towards themselves and others changing to be more loving
and accepting; overprotective barriers of national loyalty were
removed; attitudes of deep fulfillment, validation and acknowledgement
of peoples' strengths power and relatedness to others and the common
good were expressed, as well as a renewed way of listening to one
another and children. Identity was expanded beyond their individual
roles and national affiliation for the common good for continuing
political action towards world order and cooperation between sovereign
Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Golliher of the Anglican Observer Office at the
to Ms. Virginia Swain...who organized, planned and led the 9 December
Celebration...following the Earth Summit's spirit of hope, this
very successful celebration brought together artists, spiritual
leaders and children- reminding UN delegates of the importance
of Agenda 21 and honoring the role of indigenous peoples for the
future of the Earth..."