Friday, June 24, 2011

How The Organization to Which I Belong Is Contributing to World Peace, 1955

By Mrs. Floyd Cox, Randolph County
In the book of Proverbs, Chapter 29, verse 18, we read, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Home Demonstration club women of Randolph County, North Carolina, have an impelling vision of world peace for which to strive. That the road to world peace is full of hurdles of almost numberless size and form does not dim the glowing vision ahead. These obstructions serve as a challenge to our efforts to attain our vision, and with humility and great determination we pick up the gauntlet fate has flung us.
Realizing first of all that not all bars on this road to peace are the other fellow’s making, we have looked and continue to look at our own actions and motives. A good look at current happenings clearly indicates that other people very often misunderstand the things we do and say. Since America is a wealthy country, too many times we Americans have felt we could make lasting friendships with other lands by sharing our dollars. We can’t!
We are now beginning to learn how great a role education must play in developing better understanding between nations.
Education, of course, is one of the essentials toward achieving international unity and understanding but we realize that education is a slow process. And we who erroneously call ourselves Americans are prone to push events and people faster than they care to go. (I say call ourselves Americans erroneously because we imply that we, as citizens of the Unites States, are the only Americans. We aren’t! Our Latin American friends, our South American friends and Canadian cousins are just as American.)
We begin to see that generous exchange of cultural and spiritual values between nations can be a strong element in the foundation for a structure of world peace.
Once these facts are clearly understood, home demonstration women begin to look for things to do so that our vision may be shared with others and that we may do constructive work toward making that vision a reality.
The 18 home demonstration clubs of Randolph County invest yearly in UNESCO Gift Coupons. UNESCO has a list of projects that need to be carried out in war-ravaged and underdeveloped areas of the world. Our organization selects the project, country, kind of gift and goal set to be accomplished through purchase of these gift coupons….
The project at this time is to equip a village center in Ceylon. This will serve as a training center for native leadership in improving all around living conditions, especially in raising health standards.  
The Randolph County Council contributes yearly to Pennies for Friendship and to the United Nations Appeal for Children, known as UNICEF….
In broad terms, the fund was created for the relief and rehabilitation of children in war-torn countries and for child health purposes generally. In 1953 this committee began to function as a permanent part of the United Nations. It is no longer regarded as emergency aid.
UNICEF provides milk and other protein foods needed by growing children in areas whose supplies are dangerously low because of the war and post-war droughts.
Raw materials for the manufacture of clothing and shoes, institutional supplies and badly needed medical equipment such as x-ray units, incubators and obstetrical kits have been supplied by child-caring institutions. Briefly, this is the work carried on by UNICEF.
The International Farm Youth Exchange Program has brought us a wealth of information through such people as Carolyn Smith, a 1949 exchange delegate to Norway, Mr. Hartmut Stauder, a 1951 German Exchange teacher to North Carolina, and Nancy Pritchett, a 1952 delegate to Germany. Living in our country and attending our school at the present time is a young German girl.
There is a definite correlation between our reading program and our program on world understanding. A book is a passport for a trip around the world. Randolph County has complete cooperation in extending its reading program from the County Librarian, Miss Charlesanna Fox.
Educational leaders in the local clubs send in any requests their club members may have and the librarian sends the books out by bookmobile or by mail. Miss Fox has had much experience in helping people select books, and we are greatly benefited by this experience.
Typical of books read by our club members are The World We Saw by Mary Bell Decker, The Voice of Asia by James Mitchener, Gandi by Eaton, Cry the Beloved Country by Patton, Prison and Chocolate Cake by Nayantara Sahgal, and The Pool of Knowledge by Katherine B. Shippen.
Several of our women are cooperating with the Letter Friends Program. This is a program in which club women may correspond with women in their own age group and who have like interests from countries all over the world.
One fact that impresses us every time we hear form a letter friend is that so many things are similar in the lives of women all over the world. We have essentially the same hopes and dreams for our children.
One of the most successful and far reaching contributions our organization is making toward world peace is participation in the United Nations Educational and Study tour…. In early October, home demonstration women from all over North Carolina meet at our State Capitol, Raleigh, and go by chartered buses to United Nations, New York.
At United Nations, these women attend sessions of the General Assembly and the various committees and hearings. They see the problems of the world being met and dealt with in committees where all people concerned are able to express their findings and convictions in working together for the common good. These home demonstration club women attend special briefing sessions and have met in smaller conference rooms with such speakers as Dr. Frank Graham, Dr. Clark Eichelberger, Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt and Mrs. Eleanor Roberts, a special liaison to the United Nations representing the Associated Country Women of the World.
The torch has been lighted, our club women are not only carrying it high through their various contributions to world understanding, they are lighting other torches as they contact people everywhere. Surely, there is hope for better understanding between nations; we refuse to believe otherwise.

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