International Day of Happiness

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Ahead of International Day, UN and Smurfs team up to promote happiness and sustainable development

18 March 2017 – Every person – no matter how big, small or blue – can make the world more peaceful, equitable and healthy, the United Nations today told young people at a special ceremony for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that included the Smurfs and a handover of the key to Smurfdom.

81998_Happy4Voice actors from the upcoming animated movie Smurfs: The Lost Village joined 1,500 students from the international Model UN conference to celebrate the upcoming International Day of Happiness, which focuses on personal well-being, and the SDGs, which include decent work for all, education and health services.

In a special blue carpet presentation, the United States stars of the movie – Demi Lovato, who voices “Smurfette”, Joe Manganiello who is “Hefty” and Mandy Patinkin or “Papa Smurf” – honoured three young Pitufina_students promoting the SDGs in their communities with a symbolic key to the Smurfs Village in recognition of their work.

“On behalf of all Smurfdom, thank you for your work in awakening everything, in your community, through you social media, all over the world, in the ways that you have chosen to encourage people everywhere to make this world a better place for those who are so vulnerable in every way imaginable,” Mr. Patinkin told Karen Jerath, Sarina Divan and Noor Samee.

Small Smurfs Big Goals

Ms. Jerath, who is 20 years old, invented a containment device that could prevent offshore oil spills and ensure the protection of marine life. She was joined by Ms. Divan, 17, who Brainy_Smurfexpanded a UN Foundation girl empowerment initiative at her high school and beyond, and Mr. Samee, also 17, a UNICEF blogger and advocate on social justice issues.

Given a giant key with the SDG multi-coloured logo by UN Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, Cristina Gallach, the students were told “the world needs you to continue.”

 

“Never be afraid to speak up and to make this world a wonderful, beautiful, hopeful, optimistic place full of freedom, joy, justice and dignity, good food, good water, good opportunities for people everywhere, forever,” said Mr. Patinkin.

The “Small Smurfs Big Goals” campaign was created to encourage people to visit SmallSmurfsBigGoals.com to find out how to contribute to achieving the SDGs, and to share information, ideas and images on social media.

Hefty-originalAs part of today’s festivities, the UN Postal Administration unveiled a special edition stamp sheet featuring the Small Smurfs Big Goals campaign.

The stamps, which feature images of the Smurfs and the SDG logos, were presented by UN Assistant Secretary-General for Management, Stephen Cutts, and the Belgian Ambassador to the United Nations, Marc Pecsteen de Buytswerve.

The event, held at the UN General Assembly in New York, was organized by the UN, UNICEF and UN Foundation, ahead of the International Day of Happiness marked annually on 20 March.

Happness Day

In 2015, the UN launched 17 SDGs that seek to end poverty, reduce inequality, and protect our 1e1b3cdbf05d89c69d70d9be14799a10planet – three key aspects that lead to well-being and happiness.

Along with New York, celebrations were held around the world to mark the campaign and the SDGs.

On Monday, the film cast along with the UN, UNICEF and UN Foundation will be at the Empire State Building to turn the iconic tower blue in honour of the International Day of Happiness and the Small Smurfs Big Goals campaign.

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Cruelty in the face of Kind

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Kindness is the Language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see. ~ Mark Twain

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

trustOttawa, ON: Thanks to the efforts of dedicated volunteers, Kind remained open this past holiday season, to offer compassion and companionship for members of Ottawa’s queer community who may face isolation in other areas of their lives. Public support was high for the first year of this holiday drop-in, and Kind intends to carry on this new tradition in years to come.

peace-gayThese extended hours were unfortunately not without cost. At an unknown time during the holidays, Kind’s cash deposit box was taken, along with over $700 contained within. As the case would be too open ended, due to the amount of people who access the centre, the Ottawa Police Service has refused to file a report for this theft. Kind instead would like to appeal to those responsible to return what was stolen. The deposit box, along with the missing funds, can be returned to Kind at 331 Cooper St. with no questions asked.

Any information concerning the whereabouts of the deposit box can be delivered anonymously to Kind staff at (613) 563-4818. Please bear in mind that we are not interested in accusations or hearsay. 

sunny_smilesThe communities that Kind serves and represents are disproportionately affected by poverty, and Kind acknowledges that these situations can happen as a matter of necessity. As such, we urge the public not to pass judgement on the person or persons responsible, but instead consider how important it is to support ongoing services and spaces for LGBTTQIA communities.

gayheartKind is Canada’s oldest registered charity run by and for the LGBTTQIA community, but that history does not come with an overabundance of funds. While Kind recognizes that the money taken may be of great importance to those who took it, it also helps keep our lights on and our doors open. If concerned members of the public don’t have information leading to the return of these funds, we urge them to otherwise become monthly donors, so that Kind may confidently continue to serve and support Ottawa’s LGBTTQIA population.


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