New York ( USA ): Affordable Housing and Social Protection Systems for all to Address Homelessness : BKs at CSocD58, United Nations Head Quarters
The Brahma Kumaris delegation of five : BK Valerie Still, BK Nidhi Shukla, BK Shivani Dayal, BK Sabita Geer and BK Kinnari Murthy participated in the 58th session of the Commission for Social Development conference of the United Nations by submitting a written statement, reading an oral statement, organizing a workshop, and co-hosting a workshop. They also attended many workshops organized by member states and UN agencies.
BK Nidhi Shukla read the oral statement of the Brahma Kumaris at the 8th plenary meeting.
An event was organized at the Brahma Kumaris Offices at the United Nations on the topic: Reimagining “Home”: A Holistic Approach to Creating Belonging.
Sixteen people from all different walks of life came to the Brahma Kumaris UN Office to be part of the conversation.
The event began with BK Sabita Geer introducing the theme of “Reimagining Home” and asking individuals to share the one word that comes to mind when they think of “Home.” Soon they generated a long list of words that included: love, safety, stability, comfort, belonging, acceptance, sanctuary, and much more.
BK Nidhi Shukla then guided participants through a series of four questions starting with, “How do you go about creating this sense of home in the work that you do?” and “What inner qualities and personal strengths help you do this work?” People were invited to take a minute of silence to reflect on these two questions, and then to share their thoughts with someone in the room that they do not know. Conversations were so engaging and enriching that the bell had to be rung twice in order to regain attention.
Stories were then shared on challenges faced, how they harness their team’s strengths to create emotional equilibrium, and a holistic approach to overcoming those challenges.
BK Shivani Dayal brought everyone back together and invited participants to share what they will be taking away from the conversations. Some highlights included how home was a sense they carried inside of them, how their own sense of compassion and personal stability helped them overcome challenges, and how home was about community.
The conversation closed with BK Kinnari Murthy leading the group in a guided meditation that grounded people in a true sense of home, saying, “Home is always with me, and therefore I always belong.”
As people left, many remarked how calm they felt and how much they enjoyed the reflection during the event.
Using Legal Mechanisms to Advance Social Protections
Hosted by the international Federation of Women Lawyers and the international Federation of Women in Legal Careers, a side event was unique because it addressed the theme of homelessness through the lens of a lawyer blended with a motivated heart of an engineer who started the “Clean and Green Challapalli” project in India. Moderator Denise Scotto, Esq., gave an overview of the UN charter and the laws in place by the International Labor Organization (ILO) which are upholding human dignity and social inclusion.
BK Nidhi Shukla also had an opportunity to share about the involvement of the Brahma Kumaris in a project organized by the Brent City of Sanctuary and Housing Justice in the UK that offers shelter and meals at various participating venues. The role of the volunteers is to help create a non-judgmental space that empowers every individual to restore and nurture their own dignity.