Broadcast: January 12, 2004
This is Bob Doughty with the VOA Special English Development Report.
A new group says its goal is to recapture kindness within societies. The group is called the Alliance for the New Humanity. Organizers say societies put too much value on competition, wealth and individualism. They say one of the main problems in the world today is a lack of concern for one another. The organizers say they seek to build bridges between those who want peace and those who defend human rights.
The group includes activists, two Nobel Peace Prize winners and, among others, Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin. The alliance held its first conference in December in the United States territory of Puerto Rico. Former Vice President Al Gore was the guest speaker. He discussed environmental issues. The Associated Press reported that about two-hundred people attended the conference.
One of the founding members of the alliance is former Costa Rican president Oscar Arias. He won the nineteen-eighty-seven Nobel Peace Prize. Another is Betty Williams, a winner of the peace prize in nineteen-seventy-six for her work in Northern Ireland.
Also a founding member is Deepak Chopra. The Indian writer is known for his books about health and spirituality. Mister Chopra says development is not simply the creation of wealth. He says it also has to do with improvement of the human spirit.
Mister Chopra says he believes that people today recognize the need for more hopeful thinking, more caring societies and less influential media. The Alliance for the New Humanity say its purpose is to unite these people. It says the goal is to influence national and international policy toward a more caring humanity.
The alliance has a name for individuals and groups that work toward these goals. It calls them “peace cells.” A person who provides shelter to a woman and her children to escape violence is a peace cell. A group that works to feed the homeless is a peace cell. Alliance organizers say their aim is to connect all these people and groups using the Internet.
The Alliance for the New Humanity says it plans to raise money to support humanitarian work. The group says it also hopes to influence the media to report less on the world’s problems and more on answers to those problems.
This VOA Special English Development Report was written by Jill Moss. This is Bob Doughty.