This article is a response to the recent TV interview anchored by Bircan Unver, (Producer of LMTV and Permanent Representative to the UN DPI-NGO of the The Light Millennium) and Cem Zorlular, (Youth Representative to the UN-DPI-NGO and student of Columbia University) on Light Millennium TV Show held in Queens Public Television (QPTV), in Queens, New York.
“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.” Dalai Lama
H. E. Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury, former Undersecretary-General and High Representative of the UN, and one of the guests for the interview panel, quoted similar saying by Mahatma Gandhi that, “Peace can never be achieved unless it starts from one’s own self,”
Is “Peace, a Reality or Utopian Dream?” This is the theme presented with the guests / panelists from the United Nations, NGO’s and University Students.
During the interview, I was stunned by the opinion of the panelists, as each one of them gave their own point-of-view based on their experience and the organization that they have been working on, for several years. It was amazing because the question of whether Peace, is a Reality or Utopian Dream, actually brought out some different angles of discussion.
All other issues like military spending, nuclear threat, disarmament, genocide, violence, UN Millennium Development Goal and other related issues, were actually interrelated and interconnected in attaining Peace. All of which as they discuss, were so forceful and intense as each panel assert his/her own idea, laid out the tenets of the organization they’re working with to attain a common vision, a common goal which is PEACE. I may not have to elaborate in detail the deliberation which took place during interview.
However, considering the actual scenario happening in the world today, Peace is indeed a global issue and whether or not we try to attain it individually or collectively…..unless there is a strong determination that we can achieve it, and that we start it from our very own selves, it may not be a reality but remains a utopian dream. Today’s global crisis especially in the Middle East, one can always say, that peace is in fact a very sensitive issue to discuss, and one may agree that it is almost impossible to achieve.
But not for Kesz, a thirteen year old boy who won the “International Peace Award 2012.” at the Ridderzaal in The Hague, Netherlands on September 19, 2012. Kesz was presented with the prize by Desmond Tutu, the patron of Kids Rights and the International Children’s Peace Prize. According to Tutu, Kesz is a deserving and inspiring example of “a new voice for the voiceless”.
So while the panelists during the interview were voicing out the issue about Peace, in a round table, in a TV studio and in front of a camera, here comes Kesz from the other side of the globe, that they themselves don’t even know, did something in the name of Peace.
He is a boy with a vision for humanity, that instead of enjoying his own life as a kid, of what is it like to be a kid, playing and enjoying the company of other kids like him….he is devoting his time for the sake of the abused, abandoned street children. A boy who once live in a squalid area of Cavite City, Philippines, as young as he is, has envisioned the idea of Peace in his own way.
Kesz, who ran away from his abusive parents, thought his life is in misery and in darkness, beaten and abused and has to make money to buy alcohol and drug for his father. For him, it is like hell on Earth, and to run away is the only escape.
He was only four years old when he ran away from home. Although his condition is horrible, days and nights is always in danger, for him it is better to live and survive in a dumping site than living with his abusive parents like hell. He struggles for survival scavenging in a dumpsites. Sleeps in an open tomb in a graveyard with no blanket or pillow. He is in an actual situation of witnessing the real world of struggle, survival, abuse, child labor, crime, hunger, poverty… etc…and all other undesirable experiences or scenes that a young boy like Kesz is not supposed to see and encounter.
One day, Kesz is suffering from wounds and struggling near a fire in a dumpsite, a Good Samaritan, took him out of that miserable situation. He took Kesz home and treated him. Kesz never experienced the kind of love he is now enjoying with his new family. When he celebrated for the first time his seventh birthday, he thought of giving gifts to the children living on streets. He didn’t ask a gift for himself. He instead started giving “Gifts of Hope.”
“I don’t have money to give but I have Love to share,” Kesz said. That very day on his seventh birthday, he started his vision of giving hope to street children like him until he got other kids involve with him in realizing that vision and he didn’t want to stop.
Kesz became an inspiration to many children specially the abused street children. Volunteers joined his organization called, “Championing Community Children.” Kesz and other volunteers gave the street children flip-flops, toys, toothbrushes, books etc… However, Kesz did greater than that. He educates these children, explains their rights, and even treats their wound and above all, Kesz gives these children Hope.
Kesz is always surrounded by children as he gives them care, love, fun and attention. He has already helped 10,000 street children and has treated over 3,000 children with wounds. Whenever he sees somebody in need, he is always there to give a helping hand. He is a hero in his own way for he always finds a way to meet the needs of his fellow street children. He is an inspiration that one of them said,” If we all work hand-in-hand, we can make a difference.”
For all the children, this is what Kesz have to say, “You have dreams and talents, you have the rights. All you have to do is to fight for that right and show what’s in your heart.”Kesz abides with his own motto, “We can change the world, one heart at a time.” Whatever that means, this boy has a heart of gold.
For this young boy, Kesz, Peace is a Reality and not a Utopian Dream. In fact, he made it a reality by giving Hope and Love to children like him. A reality that gives light to the future of these abandoned, abused street children. A peace that these kids have to attain out from their abusive home. A peace that will certainly pave way for their brighter tomorrow. A Reality to their Hopes and Dreams.
(Source: childrespeaceprize.org; lightmillennium.org; http://www.abs-cbnnews .com/globalfilipino)