By March 3, 2020 Read More →

BKs at 58th Session on the Commission on Social Development

Affordable housing and social protection systems for all to address homelessness

February 10-19, 20202, UNHQ

The Brahma Kumaris delegation of 5 participated in the conference by submitting a written statement, reading an oral statement, organizing a workshop and co-hosted a workshop. They also attended many workshops organized by member states and UN Agencies. Please read details below.

Thursday 13th, 2020

8th plenary meeting

BK Nidhi Shukla read the oral statement of the Brahma Kumaris at the plenary meeting.

Time 2.56.16 to 2.59.28

Reimagining Home: A Holistic Approach to Creating Belonging

Organized by the Brahma Kumaris

Sixteen people from all different walks of life came to the Brahma Kumaris UN office on February 13th and immediately entered a space that felt like home. With a digital fireplace blazing and snacks and drinks abundant, people were welcomed like returning family members.

The event began with BK Sabita Geer introducing the theme of “Reimagining Home” and asking individuals to share the one word that comes to mind when they think of “Home.” We soon generated a long list of words that included: love, safety, stability, comfort, belonging, acceptance, sanctuary, and much more.

BK Nidhi Shukla then guided participants through a series of four questions starting with, “how do you go about creating this sense of home in the work that you do?” and “What inner qualities and personal strengths help you do this work?” People were invited to take a minute of silence to reflect on these two questions, and then to share their thoughts with someone they do not know in the room. Conversations were so engaging and enriching that the bell had to be rung twice in order to regain attention.

Stories were then shared on challenges faced and how they harness their team’s strengths to create emotional equilibrium and a holistic approach to overcoming those challenges. BK Shivani Dayal brought everyone back together and invited participants to share what they will be taking away from the conversations. Some highlights included how home was a sense they carried inside of them, how their own sense of compassion and personal stability helped them overcome challenges, and how home was about community.

The conversation closed with BK Kinnari Murthy leading the group in a guided meditation that grounded people in a true sense of home, saying, “home is always with me and therefore I always belong.”

After the meditation, participants received sweets/reflection cards and refreshments and networking continued with new friends.

As people left, many remarked at how calm they felt and how much they enjoyed the reflection during the event. On that dark winter evening, people felt at home in the company of true friends, warmth and compassion.

Friday 14th 2020 

Using Legal Mechanisms to advance social protections

Hosted by the international Federation of Women Lawyers and the international Federation of Women in Legal Careers, this side event was unique because it addressed the theme of homelessness through the lens of a lawyer blended with a motivated heart of an engineer who started the “Clean and Green Challapalli” project in India. Moderator Denise Scotto, Esq. gave us an overview of the UN charter and the laws in place by ILO which are upholding human dignity and social inclusion. Suresh Nadella, a senior engineer at Optum and ambassador for “Clean and Green Challapalli” project in India, shared about the enthusiasm of the 50 volunteers involved in this project every-day from 5-6:30 PM, whether there is a storm or rain. The dedication of these volunteers to their mission makes it compatible for local residents to live in a clean environment.

Suresh Nadella sharing

Nidhi Shukla also got an opportunity to share about the involvement of the Brahma Kumaris in a project organized by Brent City of Sanctuary and Housing Justice, UK, that offers shelter and meals at various participating venues. The role of the volunteers is to help create a non-judgemental space that empowers every individual to restore and nurture their own dignity.

You are welcome to read the written statement here

BK delegation: Valerie Still, Nidhi Shukla, Shivani Dayal, Sabita Geer, Kinnari Murthy

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