03 Feb The World Congress of Families
Every afternoon the streets of Amsterdam are filled with bicycles. Atop the bicycles are mothers and fathers bringing their children home from school. Mothers ride with a child on the back, one riding on the front and a baby closely nestled in a carrier next to her heart. Fathers, too, are seen carefully guiding their bicycles through the narrow streets in order to protect their precious cargo.
In a place where prostitution, drug use and same-sex marriage has all been legalized, parents are still working to preserve the one thing that will save their country – families. It is in this place that the next World Congress of Families (WCF) will be held in August. The Congress will provide the families of the Netherlands, and Europe as a whole, a place to hear world-renowned speakers talk of ways to strengthen their families. It will be a place where parents and children can attend classes to educate themselves on how to be proactive in living traditional values.
The World Congress of Families was instituted as a way for pro-family organizations around the world to unite together to demonstrate to the world that families everywhere want to make a stand. Despite the strident voices of the anti-family movement, evidence abounds that families are not giving up. The WCF is an opportunity for families to gather and show their support for the values they hold dear: traditional marriage, motherhood, parental rights, sanctity of life, and religious liberty. Regardless of cultural and political differences, organizations and families that support these values find that the World Congress of Families gives them an opportunity to band together. By working together, much will be accomplished in the fight to protect and defend families.
United Families International was a part of the planning team for WCF V last week. We worked with other leaders from pro-family organizations around the world to design a Congress where families can come to be uplifted, strengthened, and motivated to continue working to protect families. We were thrilled with the way the Local Organizing Committee in Amsterdam has chosen to focus the theme on how modern families can continue to live traditional values. The theme for the Congress is: Family: More Than the Sum of its Parts.
We endorse the focus of the Congress and hope that we can count on your support to help us make this WCF a sterling example of what pro-family organizations have to offer the families of the world. We would love to have you attend the Congress. If you are unable to attend, please consider making a donation to United Families International that will be used to help us support this very worthwhile endeavor.
HISTORY OF THE WORLD CONGRESS OF FAMILIES
“By bringing the world’s leading family voices to one table, WCF is the catalyst that helps direct the discussion and find solutions related to the natural family.”
– Beverly Rice, President of United Families International
United Families International is not alone in its work to secure a future for the family. Since our inception in 1978, we have worked with national and international colleagues and coalitions from around the world, educating, promoting and advancing our cause. The World Congress of Families (WCF), founded in 1996, is an additional way for United Families International to link up with our pro-family brothers and sisters from differing cultures, ethnic backgrounds, social and national communities.
The World Congress of Families was founded by Dr. Allan Carlson, president of The Howard Center For Family, Religion and Society with the purpose of promoting the natural family as the fundamental social unit of a healthy society. Since that time United Families International has been a partner in the work of WCF for the benefit it provides to all involved, and its message of hope.
Hope to the families of the world is the ultimate benefit of our involvement. Hope is what Dr. Richard G. Wilkins, founder of United Families International’s Defend Marriage Program and long time advisor, brought to Geneva when he led in the organization of WCF II.
Hope is what United Families International former Board member, Craig A. Cardon gave to those present in Mexico City when he spoke on “The Family A Source of Untold Wealth”.
Hope was all around when Carol Soelberg, President of United Families during WCF IV received a standing ovation in Warsaw for her presentation on “Homemakers Have the Ultimate Careers”.
United Families knows that families can and do bring hope to a world where the family and other traditional values are continually threatened. World Congress of Families is a safe haven where a unified voice for the family can gather and together find ways to reduce the negative effects of a failing society.
WCF focuses its work towards those who value the natural family as the standard; and who are willing to participate in the effort of promoting the family and its valuable assets around the world.
More importantly, WCF draws in families from across the globe and provides the information and support needed for the home-front battle.
WCF draws its work from some of the best and the brightest pro-family organizations in the world who by working together – are unified in our efforts.
World Congress of Families Declaration States:
The natural family is the fundamental social unit, inscribed in human nature, and centered on the voluntary union of a man and a woman in the lifelong covenant of marriage. The natural family is defined by marriage, procreation and, in some cultures, adoption. Free, secure and stable families that welcome children are necessary for healthy society. The society that abandons the natural family as the norm is destined for chaos and suffering. The loving family reaches out in love and service to their communities and those in need. All social and cultural institutions should respect and uphold the rights and responsibilities of the family.
Each World Congress of Families conference has its own theme and focus. New policy direction and insight is gleaned through planning meetings held in the interim. As the cultural war against the traditional family continues to strengthen, United Families International and WCF are dedicated to monitoring the opposition and researching new pro-family policy prospects emerging at each WCF conference:
HIGHLIGHTS OF WORLD CONGRESS OF FAMILIES CONFERENCES
In 1997, World Congress of Families met for the first time in Prague, The Czech Republic. It was there that the Prague 1997 Declaration was adopted by the World Congress and presented to world leaders.
In 1999, World Congress of Families met in Geneva, Switzerland under the leadership of distinguished law professor Richard G. Wilkins, and in conjunction with the world’s great religious leaders, where a common definition of the “natural family” was proclaimed.
In 2004, World Congress III was hosted by Red Familia, and Family and Society in Mexico City. It was here that United Families International board member, Craig A. Cardon spoke and UN Ambassador to Commission of the Status of Women Ellen Saurbrey attended in support of families and marriage. Action items were created and emphasis was put on fighting for marriage between a man and a woman.
In May of 2007, WCF met in Warsaw to support Poland’s fight for the family in Europe. Discussions included the real threat of under-population related to the demographic challenges of the 21st century and celebrating large families as a source of renewal and progress. Carol Soelberg, mother of 13 received a standing ovation from hundreds who crowded into the room to hear her words of love and support to the mothers of the world.
WCF V (coming this year)
World Congress of Families V will be held at the Amsterdam RAI Convention Centre, August 10-12, 2009. The theme is “Family: More Than the Sum of the Parts.” Beverly Rice, United Families International President, will be a speaker at the event.
Our message of hope as we journey around the world protecting the very existence of society’s best effort – the family, cannot be advanced without you! Please join in our efforts as we continue to partner with WCF and other pro-family coalition members.