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Mission Possible: Choose Hope

By Dwight Rudisuela, Ottawa

 

From August 2-5, SGI Canada members from Vancouver to New Brunswick met for the 8th annual Educator’s Conference at the Caledon Centre for Culture and Education. 

This year's theme “Choose Hope: Mission Possible” was inspiring for the participants as well as others who heard of it. The centre was completely full with 61 participating including many for the first time. The presence of many youth added much energy to the conference. The efforts of several SGI Canada youth leaders to assist during the conference was much appreciated. 

Each day we read SGI President Ikeda's heartfelt message in which he encouraged the participants saying that those who live out their lives for the sake of kosen-rufu within the SGI will shine with an indestructible light, completely overcome all their difficulties and be victorious in these troubled times. As one participant said, "The experiences replenish me with hope, courage and confidence. President Ikeda's message has my heart singing!" 

Keeping his encouragement in mind the participants engaged in many activities that included a panel of practitioners on "My Journey of Human Revolution,"  sessions on "Promulgating Soka Education," "The New Human Revolution" and "Inclusive Education" as well as a Q&A with General Director Tony Meers and a culture show. 

Everyone appreciated the efforts of Dr. Paul Sherman from University of Guelph-Humber, Michelle Savard, PhD Candidate, Concordia University, Montreal and Kaz Oguchi, teacher at Kansai Soka High School, Osaka, Japan to travel to Caledon to make their presentations. 

The anti-nuclear weapons exhibition “Everything You Treasure” was set up in the foyer for all to view. Participants discussed its important messages on the need for dialogue and how they themselves might contribute to this in society. 

The experiences at the culture show were uplifting and many mini-experiences called cameos were scattered throughout the conference were also very moving. 

As one participant from Guelph said, "There are no words to express the joys of being immersed in this world of Soka family and Soka values of humanistic education. I can open my heart to all that life brings and so doing emerge victorious." 

On the last day participants gave their comments on the conference and determinations to personally move the goal of kosen-rufu forward.