Young Women's Conference Inspires Determination
By Joyce Mok, Edmonton
Left: Young Women's Caledon Conference participants. Right: SGI Canada Women's Leader Helen Izumi-Choi at the conference.
The 2017 Young Women's Caledon conference came to a great success. Thanks to everyone’s support it was a full house including 23 first-timers.
The conference had a good start. First, we were welcomed by beautiful double rainbows on the way to the Caledon Centre as if President Ikeda and Mrs. Ikeda themselves were welcoming us all. President Ikeda’s heartfelt and encouraging message helped us officially kicked off our conference.
On Friday, sessions included studying President Ikeda’s 2017 Peace Proposal, the SGI Canada Youth Division Pledge, the spirit and mission of the Ikeda Kayo-Kai, the significance of The Human Revolution and The New Human Revolution, and a session called Girls Talk by the regional young women’s leaders.
On Saturday, we had the opportunity to spend time with SGI Canada Women's Leader, Helen Izumi-Choi and a Q&A session with SGI Canada General Director, Tony Meers. The final session was on a letter written by Nichiren Daishonin titled "Reply to a Believer." The day ended with a culture night that included many performances and moving experiences.
Personally, the session with Helen Izumi-Choi where she shared her prime point of faith and her memories with President Ikeda was the highlight of the conference for me. I was deeply touched by her stories of President Ikeda’s compassion. Rather than feeling beaten up by my problems, these stories helped me feel grateful to have problems where I can fight alongside President Ikeda to become happy myself and also help others become happy.
This conference was uniquely moving as everyone was in a similar journey of transformation and personal growth. The numerous experiences we shared were inspiring victories of each individual.
President Ikeda is writing his last volume of The New Human Revolution. All of the young women determined to read it as well as The Human Revolution with the recognition that we are at a crucial time right now. Just as SGI Canada Young Women's leader Mai Ogushi put it, "these two years will never come again!” We are determined to achieve 10,000 happy practitioners by Nov 18, 2018.
I was so moved by the young women's incredible personal experiences. I have a deeper respect for those who have emerged from the muddy pond of suffering and bloomed triumphantly like a beautiful lotus flower. Within each of us is the incredible power to positively transform negative karma and inspire others to win too! The SGI is truly a beautiful garden of humanity. Bernice D., Nanaimo, BC
You can come to Caledon and feel safe. You can be yourself, say anything that comes from your heart and really feel supported. There is so much love and you really fill yourself up with everyone's love. Amazing! Sarah B., Vancouver
For someone attending for the first time, this Caledon conference was an amazing experience. I had never felt more welcomed and included by everyone. It warmed my heart to know I inspired many when I shared my experience. I loved that the activities were fun and each had an inspiring message. This has strengthened my faith a lot, very much cemented it. Thank you for all your hard work to put this together. Thank you to those who encouraged me to attend. Melissa N., Thunder Bay, Ontario
This conference was filled with so many teachable moments. The main one was in showing me the importance of trusting the Gohonzon in everything I do. And the connection to others in the SGI family will rest in my heart forever. Thanks you so much to everyone working behind the scenes. You all made our visit so successful. Much appreciated. Colleen I., Victoria
Caledon conferences change your life in a positive way. It is just awesome! Elin K., Toronto
The Caledon Conference was a good and beautiful experience. I would recommend attending the conference to every young woman in my district and in Canada. I loved the activities, especially the small discussions such as Girls Talk, as it was a good way to hear and learn from people's experiences. A great experience. I'm taking along a lot of good memories. Rashmeet K., Mississauga, Ontario
This was the best young women's conference ever! I was inspired by the fact that we were given real autonomy in creating the region presentations for this conference. Akpene F., Montreal
This conference was really great. I deepened my faith even more. Thank you very much for all of the effort of the behind the scenes preparations and work. Pui Wing W., Montreal
C'est la 2ème fois que je viens à Caledon et c'est toujours agréable et plaisant d'expérimenter un court séjour au centre. Merci. Caroline Q., Montréal
C'est le premier séminaire. Tout était parfait. Je n'ai pas de mots pour exprimer ma reconnaissance. Merci pour tout. Ibticen M., Montréal