Our Family

Board of Directors

President and Founder 

Nina has made a life of advocating for children and youth. As her vocation, she served as the Special Education Coordinator for a ten–school district in southern Vermont. Dr. Meyerhof has extensive background in the needs of all children, with Master of Arts degrees in both Special Education and in Counseling and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Psychology. She also holds a doctorate in Educational Policy, Research, and Administration from the University of Massachusetts, where she developed a self-esteem model to be used in schools. A co-author of Conscious Education: The Bridge to Freedom, she is recognized as an innovative educator committed to global responsibility through authentic learning. Having received many awards for her work from The Mother Theresa Award to the Citizen’s Department of Peace Award to the International Educators Award for Peace, Nina continues daily to focus on altering world views for creating a better future. 

Introduction to Children of the Earth Video


Secretary

Founder and director of West Africa Oil Watch, a civil society-led initiative designed to foster transparency and accountability in the emerging petro-region of West Africa. He has extensive work experience with international organizations in Africa, Europe and the United States. Between 2004 and 2005 he served as the Coordinator of the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) in New York which brought together 1000 participants representing governments, the United Nations and civil society at the United Nations Headquarters in July 2005 to explore the role of civil society in the prevention of armed conflict. In 2001 he was awarded the Hague Appeal for Peace Prize in Athens, Greece, for his conflict mitigation work in the rehabilitation of child combatants during Sierra Leone’s civil war.

Sally graduated from the University of Washington in landscape architecture, and was honored with a Loeb Fellowship from Harvard's Graduate School of Design. After practicing as a landscape designer for ten years in the Pacific Northwest and in New York City, she became involved with non profit environment related organizations. Serving as the Executive Director for the US Green Building Council New York Chapter, the American Institute of Architects - New York Chapter and the American Institute of Architects Foundation for Architecture. She also directed global programs for the United Nations Environment Programme. Recently she has been studying art at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

Director

Director of the National Correctional Chaplaincy Directors Association, Patrick also serves as the Chaplaincy Liaison for the American Academy of Religion; he is a member of the National Advisory Council of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State; and has served as an advisor for the United States Commission on Civil Rights. Reverend McCollum advises numerous state and federal agencies across the country on religious accommodation and faith issues. He is an activist involved in human rights, social justice and the interaction of faith and spiritual communities to promote world peace.

Director

As an obsessive entrepreneur and serial social innovator, Oran has created documentaries, designed international leadership programmes as well as founded non-profit initiatives.

Oran has dedicated his work to facilitating others’ genius and solving complex problems in a variety of contexts. Oran is fascinated by the magic that happens when the genius of people meets the genius of ideas. He is intrigued by what makes someone an innovator or change-maker. He has committed his life to exploring these questions in the pursuit of creating social change.

For more than 13 years in over 20 countries he has guided communities, non-profits and large multinationals through difficult questions and challenges in order to help them find unique solutions to the problems they face.  His latest project is Genius Works, a consultancy dedicated to helping organisations lead with imagination. This consultancy synthesizes many disciplines to teach others how to become innovators and change-makers and assists them to create innovative projects and initiatives. http://www.geniusworks.co.za

Director

Mike Burak is the founding partner of Burak Anderson & Melloni, a law firm based in Burlington, Vermont. Mike graduated from the University of Vermont and the Harvard Law School. Upon graduation from law school, he became a law clerk to the Honorable Sterry R. Waterman, Senior Judge of the United States Second Circuit Court of Appeals. After his clerkship, Mike entered private practice in New York City. Mike returned to Vermont to serve as General Counsel to the Vermont Public Service Board. Subsequently, he was appointed by Vermont's governor to be the state's first Director for Public Advocacy. Mike has traveled extensively in Europe, Africa, India and Southeast Asia. He became interested in the activities of Children of the Earth through his late wife, Emina. They joined members of CoE in a trip to Nepal and became fascinated by the organization's work. 

Mark Harris hails from Toronto, Canada, and has been involved with Children of Earth since 2006, when he attended an international workshop in Nepal. Since that time he has been involved in youth-led projects both at home and abroad. He is currently stationed in Nepal where he is working on organizational and leadership development projects with local NGO’s, while acting as the coordinator for COE’s international training workshops in youth leadership and Spiritual Activism. Mark is also an avid musician, writer, and painter with an interest in hermetic philosophy. He holds a B.A. in Semiotics and Religion from the University of Toronto.

Luc Logan’s commitment to peace through social activism and intercultural communication began at an early age when he volunteered at the Jane Goodall Institute in Bujumbura, Burundi and at local community projects in South Caicos, Turks and Caicos. Luc’s experience is both global and local. After completing his MSc in Medical Qigong he studied, worked, trained, and launched entrepreneurial ventures in Beijing and Shanghai, and was a manager of a culinary center in Monterey for at-risk youth. An editor and contributor to the Children of the Earth Handbook, Pioneering Spiritual Activism, he has used that knowledge to create and deliver youth workshops in Kathmandu and Burlington. As a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute, Luc is currently undertaking studies focused on the critical food issues of security, sustainability, and assistance.

Director

John co-authored "We the People: Consenting to a Deeper Democracy," about the sociocratic circle organization method, a socially responsible system of governance that is emerging from the Netherlands. As head of GovernanceAlive LLC, John brought dynamic governance to North America.

Vice President, is an environmentalist, peace activist, Reiki master, Interfaith minister and founder of the Planetarian movement. She was the Connecticut campaign coordinator for U.S. Presidential candidate, Congressman Dennis Kucinich. She is President and CEO of the Kantor Family Foundation which supported at least fifty programs that benefited women, children and the environment. The Foundation created an organization called the Center of Being to benefit women and children from shelters. She has been a volunteer for the past ten years at Project Return, which is a group home for teenage girls in Connecticut. Currently, Etta’s concern for the environment and sustainability has prompted her to drive her car on waste vegetable oil. This led to her visiting schools to talk about the car and sustainability and coining the word “planetarian” as a humanitarian caring for the planet. She is currently planning to build a sustainable house. Etta received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rollins College in 1968.

Director

A development anthropologist, Diane has extensive experience leading economic, social and cultural development projects in Southeast Asia, Africa and Latin America. She is the former Dean of the Graduate School of Translation and Interpretation, (Monterey Institute of International Studies), a Fullbright scholar and graduate of the Ecole de traduction et d’interpretation, (University of Geneva). As a Buddist practioner, with a MSc in Medical Qigong, the experience of selflessness provides insights for enlightened social action based on responsibility for self and others and generosity as the root of evolutionary progress.

A. Harris (Bud) Stone is the Founder and Chancellor of The Graduate Institute. As a professor, author, researcher, and educational entrepreneur, he has dedicated his life to leadership in the cause of educational transformation. He designed the first master's degree in Environmental Education in the U.S., and is responsible for the establishment of more than 15 graduate programs. Before founding The Graduate Institute, Bud served as Chair of the Faculty of Education at Sacred Heart University, Chair of the Department of Education at Southern Connecticut State University, anheld an academic appointment at Harvard University.  He holds an EdD in Education from the University of Pennsylvania.

Advisors

Dr. Marshall B. Rosenberg is founder and director of educational services for The Center for Nonviolent Communication.

Growing up in an inner–city Detroit neighborhood Dr. Marshall Rosenberg was confronted daily with various forms of violence. Wanting to explore the causes of violence and what could be done to reduce violence, he chose to study clinical psychology and received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Wisconsin in 1961. In 1966 he was awarded diplomat status in clinical psychology from the American Board of Examiners in Professional Psychology.

Nonviolent Communication training evolved from Dr. Rosenberg’s quest to find a way of rapidly disseminating much needed peacemaking skills. The Center for Nonviolent Communication emerged out of work he was doing with civil rights activists in the early 1960's. During this period he also mediated between rioting students and college administrators and worked to peacefully desegregate public schools in long-segregated regions.

Nonviolent communication is seen as a powerful tool for peacefully resolving differences at personal, professional, and political levels. Dr. Rosenberg has provided Nonviolent Communication training in 60 countries and works with educators, managers, mental health and health care providers, lawyers, military officers, prisoners, police and prison officials, clergy, government officials, and individual families. He is also active in war-torn areas and economically disadvantaged countries, to promote reconciliation and peaceful resolution of differences.

Worldwide reactions have been inspiring. Evaluations indicate that this training vastly strengthens the ability to connect compassionately with oneself and others, as well as to resolve differences peacefully. Reports also indicate that the benefit of the training is not only stable over time, but actually increases. Dr. Rosenberg has been able to teach individuals to give the training in their own community, work, educational, and political environments, and in their own languages, with the same positive effects.

Maria is a trusted advisor with more than 25 years of experience in sales operations, administration, and leadership, spanning continents and cultures. Her varied career and life as an expatriate have equipped her with a landscape view, extensive knowledge and experience regarding subtle communication, and an aptitude for reading the nuanced dynamics of business. Maria is a co-founder of Sourcing the Way, a consultancy established in the United States and the United Kingdom with the purpose of cultivating awakened, resonance-based strategy and decision making. The path of ‘sourcing the way' brings clarity, profound empowerment, a new way of doing business, and beneficial participation in humanity’s evolution.

Jeff is an explorer co-creating a world of compassion, wisdom, and thriving communities by actively perceiving in an undivided way. He listens deeply in a dance with Presence on behalf of whole systems, cultivating practices of movement building, organizational nonduality, and organizational ecosystem development. Jeff consults to various organizations, including technology startups in Silicon Valley, nonprofits at the leading edge of social transformation, and global communities of practice. He serves on the board of directors of the Compassionate Action Network International, the Happiness Initiative, and New Stories. Previously, as a software engineer and serial entrepreneur, Jeff created an online publishing platform that gave a global voice to over 30 million people and social-networking software for “connecting the global heart.”

James O’Dea, is the lead faculty for the Shift Network’s Peace Ambassador Training with hundreds of international participants. These trainings are ongoing. His Path of the Peacemaker course attracted students from 24 countries. He is a well-known figure in international social healing who has conducted reconciliation dialogues for 15 years. James also leads breakthrough Intensives for emerging leaders of all ages. He is on the extended faculty of the Institute of Noetic Sciences and its former President. The former Washington office director of Amnesty International and CEO of the Seva Foundation, O’Dea is also a member of the Evolutionary Leaders Group. His book, Creative Stress: A Path For Evolving Souls Living Through Personal and Planetary Upheaval (2010), was featured in dozens of media outlets and used for study by numerous book groups. He has many published essays including a much acclaimed essay You Were Born for such a Time as this in The Mystery of 2012 and Creative Atonement in a Time of Peril in Beyond Forgiveness. His book Cultivating Peace will be released in May 2012. He was recognized as Champion of Peace, Reconciliation and Forgiveness by the Worldwide Forgiveness Alliance. He is on the Advisory Board of several organizations including Children of The Earth and The Peace Alliance. 

Clarence B. Jones is the former personal counsel, adviser, draft speech writer and close friend of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He is a Scholar in Residence at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University.

 

 

 

 

Betty Williams is a co-recipient with Mairead Corriganof the Nobel Peace Prize in 1976 for her work as a cofounder of Community of Peace People, an organization dedicated to promoting a peaceful resolution to The Troublesin Northern Ireland. She heads the Global Children's Foundationand is the President of the World Centre of Compassion for Children International. She is also the Chair of Institute for Asian Democracyin Washington D.C. and a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Nova Southeastern University.

 In 2006, Williams was one of the founders of the Nobel Women's Initiativealong with sister Nobel Peace Laureates Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Shirin Ebadi, Wangari Maathai, Jody Williamsand Rigoberta Menchu Tum. Six women representing North Americaand South America, Europe, the Middle Eastand Africadecided to bring together their experiences in a united effort for peace with justice and equality. It is the goal of the Nobel Women's Initiative to help strengthen work being done in support of women's rights around the world.

Alfredo Sfeir-Younis is a Chilean economist, spiritual leader and healer, presently President of the Zambuling Institute for Human Transformation, founded in 2005 in Washington, DC.

Before opening the Institute, Sfeir-Younis had a twenty-nine year career at the World Bank where he was hired as the World Bank’s first environmental economist in 1976 and later was appointed Director of the World Bank Office in Geneva, Switzerland. He served as Special Representative to the United Nations and the World Trade Organization from 1996 to 1999. In both institutions Sfeir-Younis worked in the general fields of human rights, peace, and social justice.

He has received numerous awards from international organizations, including the Lifetime Ambassador of Peace (2001), Peace and Tolerance Award (2002), World Healer Award (2002), Messenger of Peace (2002), Peace, Mercy and Tolerance Award (2003), Supreme Advisor of the Buddhist Spiritual Forum Award, World Peace Mercy and Tolerance Award (2004), Diamond Peace Award (2005), and Peace Ambassador Award (2006).


Ahmet Betil has worked for many years as an engineer and information technology specialist for various multinational corporations, more than fifteen years of which being in the CEO position. Mr. Betil brings experience in international business management, international business development, and all phases of project management. 
Today, Ahmet Betil is the founder and chairman of Wynntryst, LLC which specializes in applied science – bioenergy, collaborative consulting – possibility management, and effective learning – quantum mind fields.

Core Team

Shelley is a passionate humanitarian and diplomat, traveling the world helping people to get along better. She is a shining optimist, finding and focusing on the positive in all situations. 

Recognizing that there are many people around the world separately doing good work that serves the Higher Good, Shelley seeks new ways of connecting these people and projects together. Knowing that the collective energy is greater than the sum of the independent parts, she works to connect people together to multiply the positive global impact.

Shelley holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Behavioral Sciences from Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Beer Sheva, Israel, and a Master’s Degree in Professional Counseling from Argosy University in Hawaii, USA.

As a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist based in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, Shelley works with youth and families to help them love themselves and each other, thereby making their lives the best that they can be. 

Shelley serves on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists-Hawaii Division, as well as on the Board of Directors of The Hawaii Chrysalis, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization which focuses on strengthening family relationships through effective, positive communication within traditional and non-traditional families.

“Business leaders can create wealth while at the same time they can positively add value to the conservation and protection of the ecological world, having respect for other human beings and building on positive change in their own life. For that reason we need to start teaching the youth of today already at a very young age about how to become a spiritual, environmental and social engaged leader within politics, business and society.“

Saskia Troy is a Social Corporate Responsibility (CSR), strategy and marketing Expert. Next to her studies in business administration (global business and stakeholder management) economics and business (international economics) and philosophy (philosophy of management) she has been working and doing internships for various companies and institutions which are amongst others Shell International, ABN Amro, KPN, the Erasmus University of Rotterdam, the University of Amsterdam, the Ministry of Finance (Supreme Auditing Court) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She has been active for the United Nations in several boards and commissions (UNDP, CSD, UNICEF), as well as for the Liberal Democrates (Defence and International Security, Higher Education and Science). In the past she has won the Hans Wiegel Grand Prix (named after a former Deputy Prime-Minister) for the best contribution to the political debate within dutch Liberal Youth Politics (JOVD). Before she has been a member of the marketing delegation of the Nuon Solar Team that became world champion within the World Solar Challenge which is a race through Australia for cars that drive purely on solar energy. Recently she has been adjudicating at the BBC Public Speaking and Writing Awards and the NS Publieksprijs for the dutch Book of the Year.

Samuel is a Conflict Analyst and a Director at the International Centre for Conflict and Human Rights Analysis (ICCHRA). He is founder and CEO of Health Wings LLC. Samuel has a background in International Humanitarian Law with in-depth knowledge and extensive study in Conflict Management and Peace Building processes. He became involved in several international projects from which he learned firsthand that other cultures also struggle with how best to resolve differences and conflict in a mutually beneficial way. After much experience in his career as a Conflict Analyst, he served with United Nations missions in several parts of the world and then worked with the West Africa Youth Network as its liaison officer to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and then worked for several years as a peace trainer, conflict analyst, human rights activist, social entrepreneur and social change activist in Africa, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Far East and South America.

In August 2005 he was made an Honorary Peace Ambassador by the Apeadu Peace Centre at a ceremony witnessed by Audrey Kitagawa, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General on Children associated with armed conflict.

In 2007, he was awarded International Human Rights Hero by Artists for Human Rights at a ceremony held in Los Angeles, which was witnessed by high profile United Nations staff.

He recently graduated with a Masters in Healthcare Administration from Kaplan University and is a member of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)

Samuel currently serves as Chapter Coordinator for Children of the Earth.

Rosie Waygood has been volunteering as a European Youth Ambassador with COE since 2009, and has been co-leading the strategy development team since March 2014. She is an advocate for practical change-making projects and is undergoing training to build the organisation's infrastructure. To hop on board the strategy development team or ask any questions, send her an email at: rosie@coeworld.org

Princess Ukaga was born into a Royal Nigerian family and after she lost her eldest sister Chidi Ukagain, in service to humanity, Princess dedicated her life to achieving peace. She learned through her personal experience how to survive and grow and is inspired to promote peace.

Princess was educated in Nigeria at the University of Calabar (UNICAL) receiving her BA in Political Science and MSc in International Relations at the University of Abuja. While in UNICAL she was the Vice President of the UNICAL Association for Aids Prevention and she worked with the Civil Liberties Organization of Imo State and Women in Nigeria Organizations. In 2003, Princess represented Nigeria at the Tunza Program of the UNEP in Russia and she is one of the founding members of African Youth Parliament. In 2005, Princess attended the World Spirit Forum Arose and is also one of the founding members of World Spirit Youth Council. With the help of Isira Sananda and Sesto Giovanni, Princess was able to set up a program called Peace Central, in Nigeria, where she runs a micro-finance program and youth empowerment program. Princess is one of the Architects of the Future with Waldzell Institution, in Austria.

As the Children of the Earth Coordinator in Nigeria, Princess represented COE at the 2013 International Day of Peace at the Untied Nations office in New York.

Currently, she is coordinating a project called One Peaceful Africa, moving from one African country to another, helping young people to embrace peace and not to be use as weapons of war and violence. One Peaceful Africa’s main goal is to strengthen the dialogue between today and tomorrow's decision makers and to experience the full life beyond “all habitual patterns.”

Under the mentorship of Nina Meyerhof, Princess has learned that she can have no greater peace than knowing her mission on this planet is helping the Earth’s children in Africa. 

Michelle D. Schenandoah is a member of the Oneida Indian Nation of New York and wolf clan member.  She is the daughter to Oneida Nation Faithkeeper, Diane Schenandoah and granddaughter to the late Oneida Nation Wolf Clan Mother, Maisie Shenandoah.  

Ms. Schenandoah has served as a business development consultant to corporations, higher educational institutions and individuals. Michelle lived and worked in New York City for 12 years, where she focused her professional and academic endeavors building the expertise to serve the greater good of the world, in a meaningful and impactful way. With an emphasis in corporate and tax law, Michelle also integrated American Indian law and policy into her academic career at New York Law School.   
 
Schenandoah was a founding member and Chief Operating Officer for Pervasive Learning Solutions (PLS), a global project management and leadership training company in New York, NY.  She provided business development and consultative sales services to Fortune 500 companies and directed the global operations for training provider, International Institute for Learning in NY, NY.  Michelle also worked for the non-profit organization, the American Indian College Fund in NY, NY where she conducted grant writing, product development, marketing and sales to raise scholarships for tribal college students. 

Michelle also has over fifteen years experience in marketing and sales of Native American arts and music in the global marketplace.  She ran her own agency that provided support to Native American artists and event planning for corporate cultural awareness programs.   

She was an advisor to the Native American Technology Journey that selected technology-based community projects to receive funding; and served on the Board of Directors for the Native American Music Association (NAMMY’s) that helped establish the Native American music category in the Grammy Awards.

Having worked with spiritual healers and visionaries throughout the years, Michelle also completed two integrated programs with Sheila Applegate to incorporate Spirit into all aspects of her life.  Michelle is also mother to a wonderful son who has opened her life to love and enjoying.  Her life’s journey is just beginning. 

Michelle holds a Bachelor of Arts from Cornell University in American Studies and American Indian Studies, and JD and LL.M. in Taxation from New York Law School.  

Karam is an ex-IBM Financial Executive with an extensive international business experience and perspective. He is volunteering to provide his guidance as a financial advisor to COE. He will be focusing on developing financial and business strategies, budgets; he will assist the President in executing organization operations, and oversee financial management.

Jimmy Lama, 27, is from a remote village of Nakote in Nepal and is currently running a self-initiated project called HELP- Helambu Education and Livelihood Project- along with his small local team which works on building schools in several communities in Helambu region. As a youth from one of the poorest nations on earth and one that is in the process of healing scores of wounds left by its recent decade long violent conflict, Jimmy takes it as the responsibility of today’s youth in the process of re-building the nation and he is a firm believer that what he can and will do in his local community will have a great upward impact in shaping the future. In taking such view and actions, he practices inner peace and deep reflection as a fuel and building partnerships in Nepal and abroad as engine to achieve his goals despite political frustration and resources scarcity. 

Webmaster

Jennifer Ann Walsh hails from the Pacific Northwest. Currently she lives in San Francisco and runs a one-woman web shop specializing in websites for non-profits and other do gooders. She likes wild food and raw adventures. When she’s not helping people on a mission craft their online presence, you can find her noodling around with music, plants and words. To learn more: jenniferannwalsh.com

Jennifer Thornquest has encouraged, engaged and educated children her entire life. Her formal education centered on child development, dance, and the theater arts; her professional life includes a stint as a nanny, early elementary-age school teacher and dance instructor. Today, she owns a thriving mobile music and event co-ordination business and is very active in her faith community. Jennifer is married and has home-educated her three high-school aged children and dozens of others. She is passionate about nurturing creativity and inspires through mentoring those around her to become exactly who they are destined to become. Jennifer is excited to join the COE family and explore this new chapter of social entrepreneurship in our world. In June 2014 she began volunteering as the news editor. 

Spiritual Elders

Phrarajabhavanavisudh is the abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya in Thailand and the president of the Dhammakaya Foundation.

Michael Laitman, Professor of Ontology and Theory of Knowledge, PhD in Philosophy and Kabbalah, and MSc in Medical Bio-Cybernetics, established Bnei Baruch in 1991, following the passing of his teacher, Rav Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag (The Rabash).

Ralph Singh likes to be known as an ordinary person who continues to have extraordinary life experiences: from the powerful vision that drew him from New York to the feet of one of the world's greatest spiritual leaders, His Holiness Baba Virsa Singh, in India at the age of 22, where he became his first foreign devotee, to his involvement in the community building efforts surrounding the post 9-11 arson attack on his spiritual community Gobind Sadan, USA north of Syracuse, NY. Over the last 33 years Ralph has devoted his time to forging community and working to find ways to define civil society. He was the founding President of Gobind Sadan, USA, and currently serves as President of Gobind Sadan Community Services, and as Director of Publications and Public Relations for the Gobind Sadan Society for Interfaith Understanding.

Mokopuna

As a granddaughter I grew to know my mother as a Nana Wai, a strong and Independent woman. She always worked hard, had her own car and home, and walked her own path. Her busy lifestyle has not changed since I was a child and today she is still as active as ever.

Watching and being a part of her journey has been a wonderful and motivating experience. As Nana Wai travels the world healing and teaching hundreds to live happy and healthy lives, it inspires me to believe that with love and determination in your heart, you can achieve anything you put your mind to.

Her self belief and courage is personified by her every word and action, strengthening my own self belief. Her wisdoms taught and not told, have allowed me to find my own answers and to seek understanding in my own thoughts, developing and growing my inner confidence.

She has given me opportunities to learn by supporting me through Workshops and wananga, and has also given me space and freedom in her Workshops to teach and gain experience, encouraging me to trust in myself.

Her love and support in me is a reflection of how she feels about all children of this world. Her dedication to her work is a sacrifice she makes from time with her Family, but we are all there with her. We stand at her side and support her amazing kaupapa of teaching to give with love and learning that the future of our world lies in the fragile Hands of our children. It is to us now today, to care and teach our children to love with no Limits and believe with no boundries.  

"I am very interested in the future of our world and strongly believes that our investment in the international universal future is in our young people the rangatahi the potiki then the adult. Expose our young to what they can do to bring about universal peace externally and internally."

-  Nana Wai


Kuia, Matekite, Kaiako, Kaumatua

Grandmother, See'er, Teacher, Elder

Grandmother to many and mother of four, born and raised in Aotearoa (New Zealand), Te Wai Matao is of Te Ati Awa, Ngati Raukawa, Te Whanau a Apanui and Te Atihaunui a Paparangi descent, of the Great Migrational Waka from the Maori Ancestral home lands of Hawai'ki.

Spiritual leader and teacher, Te Wai Matao is involved in the traditional teachings and learnings of the spiritual and natural world for over the past 40 years. She encompasses and develops these philosophical aspects in her teachings to educate and support people through the ways of healing, understanding and empowerment.

Her work has taken her all over the world, connecting with diverse cultures and working with many other spiritual leaders and motivational speakers. Her international study programs have been running over the last 20 years, attracting students from all walks of life, multiple professions and varying social backgrounds. Her teachings spread over a wide spectrum of transformation and enlightenment, guiding and helping those who seek to find inner peace, self motivation and well being.

Since 1980, Masami Saionji took over the spiritual leadership of the Movement of Prayer for World Peace and has dedicated her entire life to furthering its worldwide expansion.

She has lived in North America as well as Europe, and travels extensively as a guest lecturer at various international conferences as well as throughout Japan.

Lama Gangchen Rimpoche was born 1941 in Tibet. He studied buddhist philosophy, dialectics and tibetan medicine at the Universities of the Monastery in Tashilumpo, Westtibet, and in Sera near Lhasa. Rimpoche was tutored a.o. by Ling Rimpoche and Trijang Rimpoche, tutors to the Dalai Lama, as well as by the Dalai Lama himself.
With the occupation of Tibet he left his home country for India. After further studies at various Indian Universities and his many years of working as healer and general practitioner he could be convinced by friends 12 years ago to become a teacher in the West. Here T.Y.S. Lama Gangchen devotes his life to the healing of the ecosystem of our planet and the healing within each individual being.

The "Lama Gangchen World Peace Foundation", founded in 1992, is an active part of the U.N.O. The Foundation has suggested a permanent spiritual forum of all religious traditions with the aim of an institutionalisation of all world religions in the United Nations.
 

In Memorium of H.H. Sri Sri Sri Saidas Baba, a Hindu who chaired the Sai Foundation Organization Worldwide, an independent and non-sectarian organization promoting world peace through faith and selfless service. He presented Hinduism by thinking about each letter of the word: H for humility; I for individuality; N for nobility; D for divinity and U for unity. Religion is a means of holding people together despite individual differences. He stressed the urgency for establishing a New World Order in which no person will be persecuted for worshipping God as the individual chooses.

The President and Spiritual Head of Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh, India, Pujya Swamiji is also Founder/Chairman of India Heritage Research Foundation (IHRF), an international, non-profit, humanitarian foundation.  He has been a leader in numerous international, inter-faith summits and parliaments, as well as the recipient of innumerable awards, including the Mahatma Gandhi Humanitarian Award and the Hindu of the Year Award.

Maulana Khabir Azad’s father was a renowned scholar of Islam and an interfaith pioneer in Pakistan. Azad, Grand Imam of Lahore’s largest mosque, has taken up his mantle. When he isn’t advising Pakistani leaders on interreligious issues, he is urging his fellow countrymen to embrace peace and tolerance.

Father Terry is an educator with Scarboro Mission, priest, marathon runner, former Missionary in the Philippines, a profound theologian and "one of the funniest fun-loving people you will ever meet". Fr. Terry founded a mixed community of men and women to live and work in the inner city of Edmonton/Can., introduced the celebration of the diversity of cultures in one parish in Scarboro, supports Inter-religious Dialogue activities, helps organize meetings of youth an adults with leaders or teachers of  other Faiths, attended the 4th Parliament of World Religions, Barcelona and brought the "Golden Rule" poster to the Secretary General's office ot the UN.