SGI-Spain Representatives Meet in Madrid
On January 25, 2009, some 700 SGI-Spain members gathered in Madrid, Spain. SGI President Daisaku Ikeda sent a congratulatory message, expressing his hope that the members would advance in unity, achieve personal triumphs and make concerted efforts to be good citizens, expanding their circle of friendships.
In 1991, SGI-Spain was newly formed with three chapters. Based on a spirit of "the shared commitment of mentor and disciple" coupled with sincere practice and study of Nichiren Buddhism, the membership has increased 33 times in size. The organization is now comprised of 24 chapters. Along with its remarkable development, SGI-Spain has participated in various interfaith conferences. During the Parliament of the World's Religions held in 2004, Barcelona, an SGI-Spain representative chaired the forum "Voices of Different Religious Traditions for Peace." SGI's exhibition "Seeds of Change: The Earth Charter and Human Potential" has traveled throughout the country. Some 5,000 citizens have viewed the exhibition that aims to educate about environmental concerns.
During the meeting, SGI-Spain Advisor Shinji Shimizu introduced newly-appointed leaders. Juan Garcia Ito, former youth leader, was appointed as SGI-Spain vice secretariat, Pablo Juarez as SGI-Spain youth leader, Motomi Yamada and Andrea Charallo as vice youth leaders, Matteo Di Bugno as young men's leader, and Paula Rodriguez as young women's leader.
Following remarks from SGI-Spain Women's Leader Luisa Gonzalez, SGI-Spain General Director Enrique Caputo emphasized the importance of small group discussions in which one-on-one dialogues can inspire individuals to take action for peace and the happiness of others. SGI-Europe Chair Hideaki Takahashi and SGI-Europe Women Chair Sakae Takahashi also attended.
[Adapted from an article in the February 5, 2009 issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]