From Global Neighbors & Communities

Posted on: January 5th, 2013 by jeni No Comments

 

Peace Posts…

From World Citizens

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June 2015

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I saw Mattie Stepanek on Oprah, and from that day, i always wanted to write a poem about him. Hope you will love my poems.
– Andile Nombanga (from KwaZulu-Natal – Eastern Cape, South Africa) 

When the sun goes down
Warmth soon goes away,
Warmth pulls away from
Me like my painful muscles.
When ever the sun sets
Between mountains and
Beautiful golden brown skies
I feel like i won’t make it to
The sunrise of tomorrow.
Remember my heartsongs
When I’m gone,
Remember to play after every
Whistling storm.
——— by Andile Nombanga

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The last paragraph of this second poem I wrote for this young man is based on the words Mattie said [one time] when he called Oprah.

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Shades and shadows couldn’t
Stop me from being the rainbow,
Storms, thunderstorms couldn’t
Stop my voice from being heard,
Mountains and rivers couldn’t
Stop the echoes of my voice.

The sun may be fallen behind
The shadow of death,
The rainbow in the clouds may be
Gone from your eyes,
But the echoes and voices of the
Beautiful heartsong remained Behind.

I’m sending the sun to you
With its red and purple smile,
Within the heart of its smile
Words of love and peace are
Well-written with rays full of
Warmth of the setting sun,
I’m sending it your way,
I’m sending it your way.
——— by Andile Nombanga

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May 2015

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Dear .Jeni Stepanek,
This email is long overdue.  I simply want to let you know that Mattie’s “On Growing Up” poem has touched the lives of many children and adults across the Middle East.  As an educator, I have had the privilege of  reading this particular poem to many children and adults while working with them in various children environments.
Mattie has touched many lives as you well know and he has certainly touched mine.  I continue to cherish his poetry through the young hearts that continue to hear his precious and peaceful words with such profound messages for all.  Your son lives on forever! Blessings to you!
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Kindest Regards – Lucia Di Pietro-Sabatino
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Reply: 
Wow – what a wonderful message to receive. It is so good to know that Mattie’s life and legacy, and the message of Heartsongs and hope and purpose and peace that he offered to people around the world continues to inspire and touch lives. Thank you for taking the time to write.
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Since Mattie died, I have worked very hard to continue his mission of peace – for individuals and for communities of people around the world. Every few years, I choose one poem that becomes the focus for activities and messages. In 2010 I selected “For Our World” — which was translated by global citizens into about 50 languages. In 2013, I selected “December Prayer” and invited global neighbors to translate this poem, or to express it artistically in some way. This year, I decided that the next poem for global activities is “On Growing Up (Part V).” I would love to know how the poem is being used in your area, and what are the responses and how it is inspiring children and adults in the Middle East. I would love to post this on Mattie’s website, and send you a Peace Activity Certificate for your support.
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Peace – Jeni Stepanek, Ph.D. (“Mattie’s mom”).
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August 2013
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Hello Mama Peace — just saw this and thought I should share. There are many peace ambassadors out there. Miss you lots! — From Francis Ekii (2013 3DD Global Teen Leader from Uganda.
“You can make a decision today to be a peacemaker.”

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January 2013

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Dear Jeni,
First and fore most is to wish you a Happy New Year 2013. I trust you are well and had good holidays. We are all doing well here in Nairobi and a good holiday break.
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As the Waweru family,  we thank you for the honor you bestowed upon our family in July 2012 as Peace Seekers In the Spotlight Page. We have continued to remember Mattie’s Peace Messages, his Heartsong poem touches every one who reads it, I quote one of his poems that was read during our larger family early Christmas get together that included our Uncles and Aunties who most are over 70years and above, that reminds us it does not matter what color , age, size or Country we belong, we are all one family.
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I Quote:
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On Growing Up (Part V)
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We are growing up.
We are many colors of skin.
We are many languages.
We are many ages and sizes.
We are many countries…
But we are one earth.
We each have one heart.
We each have one life.
We are growing up, together,
So we must each join our
Hearts and lives together
And live as one family.
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—–Mattie J.T. Stepanek (Age 6)
—-in Journey Through Heartsongs
———Hyperion, 2002
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From such strong words of wisdom from Mattie, we can’t forget the connection of WAFF’s Nancy Hunt, who having met Brian our son at Three Dot Dash some years back, made it possible to meet you in person last year at Mattie’s Park, and we are forever grateful.
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As a family we formed RUWEWA FOUNDATION (Real Understanding Of Well Being With Action). Our sons, Raymond and Brian, in their early high school years devoted their time during weekends and school holidays to tutor, mentor and help in basket ball skills at the Children’s Garden’s Home. They are actively involved to date to make a difference to this Children despite pursuing their Education in the US. RUWEWA has continued to celebrate every Christmas since 2007 to put a smile and hope to this destitute Children. I will be sharing the Christmas party pictures which Mike and I celebrated with the Children in absence of our sons.
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This June 2013, Brian has made contacts with a youth group from the U.K who will be visiting the children home to sing and dance with them as they will be on en route to Tanzania. As a family under RUWEWA FOUNDATION, we have taken the step to empower the
community in the young growing children at the home and in our midst.
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We wish you Happy new year full of blessings and Peace. God Bless,
Terry.  (Nairobi, Kenya)
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September 2012

Our “For Our World Campaign” in Kuwait. Click here to read the post. 

Message: We here at Equait are truly honored that you are following us on Twitter. We truly hope that we do Mattie’s dreams justice here in Kuwait, and eventually the world. — Equait: An organization promoting equality and human rights awareness in Kuwait (via Twitter)

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August 2012

Dear Mattie: We need some serious peace work here in Kenya, last election more than 1000 were killed, and it seem many have not learned. Please let us know if there is anyway you could bring peace efforts to Kenya! Thanks! — Eifik Jari Trondsen, Kenya (via Facebook)
NOTE: ‎”No single person can end war, but every single person can begin peace.
Think gently, speak gently, live gently.
And pray, differently, yet together, for our world.”
-Mattie. J.T. Stepanek.
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July 2012

Dear Mom Jeni: I hope that my e-mail finds you well. This month, I felt really excited that me and Mattie have our birthdays in the same month. I am on the 19th of July and he is July 17th. This is really an honor. How have you been? I am doing well. Two weeks left for my summer course to finish. Then, I will start my fall semester two weeks after. Life here is very quiet, and nice. The nature is beautiful. Attached is my photo (for the Peace is Possible Gallery), and here is my status: “If there something that I need to pray for everyday during this holy month, it will be, to keep my part of the world -The Middle East- safe and peaceful, and to save it if from wars and bloodshed. I will pray that diplomacy will work, and will move issues forward in either Syria, Palestine & Israel, Iran, Lebanon, Bahrain, Iraq and all the countries of the region. Peace be upon our world always ♥.” Miss You, Hugs <3 Yours Son: Mahmoud  – Mahmoud Jabari (2008 Just Peace Summit Global Teen Leader/Palestine, via e-mail).

NOTE: Click here to watch Mahmoud’s motivational

peace talk during the 2012 TEDxTeen event.

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“Walk to remember our beloved parents, brothers & sisters who lost their lives in the Genocide against tusti in 1994… Peace is Possible!” —  Fernand Kayitare (2010 Just Peace Summit Global Teen Leader/Rwanda, via Facebook)

(Click on photo to enlarge)

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Hardly a day passes by without reflecting the works of Mattie Stepanek and his impact on ordinary human beings. Today I would like his poems distributed all over the world or composed into song for our future generations. — Mike Waweru Mwangi, Nairobi, Kenya (via e-mail)

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I was so so happy and so honored to receive a message from you!!!  I have seen you on TV many times, and respect you with all my heart as a mother who has birthed and raised your amazing children. I respect you dearly… Whenever I have a chance, I always use Matties poems (during my speeches and interviews). Thank you for the link (to your website). I didn’t know there was a Foundation and hope to learn more about it. I also work in many fields around peace, so if there is any way I can be of service or we can do something together it would be an honor!!! I really hope I can meet you one day in person, but for now so so honored to be connected through FB. — Yuka Saionji, Tokyo, Japan, (peace advocate and descendant of Japanese rulers — via Facebook)

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We, the Waweru family, are humbled and honored for the recognition the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Foundation has given us (July 2012 Peace Seekers of the Month). We continue to give Peace as a gift to the world we live in. Thank you, Jeni — Mattie has been an inspiration to many people around the world with his Peace message. Let us all continue to be Peaceful in our spheres of influence everyday. Peace always. – Terry Waweru, Nairobi, Kenya (via e-mail)

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June 2012

I  was looking through Mattie’s ‘Heartsongs’ book and was touched by this poem called “On Being Thankful” on page 23. It’s humbling to see a young yet spiritually-mature boy remind us on the need to be grateful. So many of us have a negative outlook on life, but if a child who suffered from such a fatal illness can feel so blessed and thankful for his life, how much more should we be thanking God!  All the more we should be grateful for the many things we have been blessed with, the many things we can hope for… and all the more we should be doing what we can to bless people. This poem, as well as many others by Mattie, have been an enlightening lesson for me. Thank you! – Yap Zi Xuan, WAFF 2012 Global Teen Leader from Singapore (via Facebook)

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May 2012

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I have loved every guest I’ve talked to on my radio show but I have to admit, sharing an hour with best-selling author, speaker, peace advocate and mother of the late, beloved, Mattie Stepanek, Jeni Stepanek last week was definitely extra special for me. If you want to hear an inspiring woman, do listen. And I’m not just saying that because it’s my show. It has nothing to do with me. I truly believe everyone needs to listen to the wisdom Jeni shares… it moved me so much that I forgot where I was some of the time! :)  – Anna Taylor, United Kingdom (via Facebook)

 ***Note/Response: (Click here for the link to Anna and the Angels radio show)

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[I am from the United Kingdom] and have just arrived in the USA today for the summer. Anything I can do to help spread Mattie’s meassage I try to do. I certainly know my family are on board – ‘Messenger’ and ‘Just Peace’ have been passed around. I met you very briefly in the rain at the Peace Celebration in September last year – such a privilege. I am planning a vacation on the Outer Banks at the end of the summer – Nags Head/Jockey’s Ridge area. I know you spent vacation time there with Mattie, and you refer to a fishing pier where you and Mattie spent so much special spiritual time. Is that a public fishing pier? If so, where is it? I would love to go there if it is accessible. God bless you, and thank you again for your personal note. – Dick Roberts, Stonehouse, United Kingdom (via Mattie’s Peace Club)

***Note/Response: Mattie and I enjoyed Nags Head Fishing Pier. I believe it is still open to the public. Please send a photo of your experience if you have opportunity to visit there. Peace — Jeni.

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Dear Jeni: I am Aashish, 20 years old from New Delhi, India. I have been really inspired by your work, you give a hope to many of the young active citizens like me to leave behind our petty issues and go out there to make a difference in someone’s life. I am deeply touched by your work and wish to contribute in any manner and in any capacity that I could. Back here in India, I am running few projects relating to different backgrounds of social activism. At Milna, we are trying to bridge the cultural divide and open new avenues of exchange opportunities among students. At Green Planet Waste Management, I am building a system of scientific treatment of solid waste in India and aware the masses regarding repercussions of not treating their waste properly. Recently, we started with a project called ‘Laltain’ meaning a Lamp in Hindi, which signifies bringing light into somebody’s life. Here, we’re using the social media platform to integrate with visual media to provide a platform for different social projects to reach the masses. I would love to connect with your work and make any contribution if I could. Best Regards -- Aashish Birgi from India (via Facebook)

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April 2012

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I’m a Primary School teacher in Italy, especially, in Bergamo, near Milan. I thank you for Mattie, a great child who is giving me a lot of joy, for my spiritual life. I read Mattie’s books and they are marvellous, rich and very spiritual, especially they are educational when I explain them to my  pupils. Thank you very much, Jeni! If you have photos about Mattie, I receive them with joy! – Vera Bonaita and Family from Italy (via e-mail)

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June 2011 

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A while ago, I heard the first time about your son, Mattie. This was in a speech that a 16 year old girl from Nairobi gave at a convention of Kids Are Heroes last summer. I was very amazed about what this girl said about Mattie, and how he had influenced her own charity work. — Michael Ecstorm (Germany)

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Hi, I am a 22 year old from Auckland, New Zealand who felt absolutely compelled to send a message of some sort to you about the impact this special young man has had as far away as Kiwi-Land.  I was first told about Mattie and his works by a friend of mine who suggested I watch his story on Oprah. I was so blown away by the wisdom and truth he spoke; it seemed to me as though this young boy had more meaningful contributions to offer to this world than many, many of a much older age put together.
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I haven’t been able to stop thinking about Mattie since, which has led me to reading some of his work. The feeling I come away with after reading one of his essays or poems is one of humility. Humility in the sense that I realize there is always a bright light to every situation. A strong message I see coming through is one of community and seeing others for what they are also going through, not just looking inwardly at our own situations. As well, of course, as a reminder to enjoy life while we can, most notably in Mattie’s words “remembering to play after every storm”. His messages of hope and peace are especially relevant in our small country right now as we go through the devastating Christchurch Earthquake. I’m sure Mattie’s philosophies would ease some of the pain by looking with a different perspective.
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Mattie profoundly impressed U.S Presidents, famous singers and actors, and international superstars such as Oprah Winfrey. Here I am, saying he also changed the way I look at things; I am not a U.S President, I am not a billionaire. I am an ordinary person on the other side of the world, hearing of his story and teachings in 2011 and admiring one of the most remarkable human beings I have ever heard of.  Thank-you. – Patrick Anderson, Auckland, Australia

 

 

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December Spotlight

In-Kind Support

Celebrating our "in kind" sponsors and advocates -- who support Mattie's Foundation with services and materials. Thank you ezStorage, Montgomery Printing, Parcel Plus, and Potomac Valley Brick! Read more...

Nourishment Support

Celebrating our "nourishment" sponsors and advocates -- who support Mattie's Foundation with food and services. Thank you Botanero Restaurant, Fontina Grille, Safeway, Coffee Republic, and Red Hot & Blue! Read more...

Community Support

Celebrating our "community" sponsors and advocates -- who support Mattie's Foundation with commitment and participation. Thank you City of Rockville, King Farm Citizen's Assembly, Kick's Karate & Mix 107.3! Read more...

Champion Support

Celebrating our "Foundation Champions" -- sponsors and volunteers of all ages who support Mattie's Foundation through donations, brick sponsorships, participation in our activities and events. Thank you!!! Read more...

- Mattie J.T. Stepanek