SGI Associations Throughout Latin America Hold Commemorative Gatherings
During March 2007, SGI youth members in ten countries throughout Central and South America celebrated March 16, 1958, a historic day in the Soka Gakkai's history when second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda met with 6,000 youth to personally bequeath to them his deeply held mission of creating lasting peace and security based on the humanistic life philosophy of Nichiren. The young members had gathered from throughout Japan on very short notice to meet with the ailing Mr. Toda, who passed away two-and-a-half weeks later on April 2, 1958.
On March 16, 2007, the young men and young women of SGI-Peru each held meetings at the SGI-Peru Culture Center in Lima to reaffirm their dedication to developing their own lives and further contributing to peace and prosperity in Peru and the world at large. On the previous day at the same venue, 650 representatives from the men's and women's groups celebrated the 41st anniversary of SGI President Daisaku Ikeda's first visit to Peru. A highlight at the meeting was a video montage prepared by the youth chronicling SGI-Peru's history and including footage from Mr. Ikeda's second visit to Peru.
March 16 commemorative youth gatherings in Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay included musical and choral performances as well as personal accounts of applying Nichiren Buddhism in daily life.
In Ecuador, members celebrated the anniversary of the formation of their first SGI district on March 22, 1983. Today, 24 years later, SGI-Ecuador has one chapter and five districts. Commemorative meetings were held in Quito and Guayaquil on March 24 and 25, respectively.
In Central America, meanwhile, 575 SGI-Panama members celebrated March 16, which was also the 33rd anniversary of Mr. Ikeda's first visit to that country. The meeting included a history of SGI-Panama presented as a slide show. Youth members met on March 16 at the SGI center in San Jose, Costa Rica, and the recently formed SGI association in Cuba held a general meeting on March 24. On March 10, 75 SGI-Belize members gathered at their center in Belize City, with 25 members traveling 150 kilometers from El Cayo to attend. One of the El Cayo members reported on the progress of their local activities. In El Salvador, members of the young women's and women's groups met for a study session on Nichiren's writings in the capital city, San Salvador, on March 17. A doctor attending the meeting gave a talk on women's health, which was followed by an earnest discussion on creating positive value in life.
[Adapted from articles in the April 11, 12 and 24, 2007 issues of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]