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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2954

American Tamil School kids attended UN Peace Summit

New York. 01 October, (

The US based volunteers run Tamil Schools' students voiced the “Yadhum Oore Yavarum Kelir" (Every city is our city, everyone is our kin) message at the UN during its 71st session on the International Day of Peace. Valar Tamil Iyakam (VTI), a non-profit organization -that undertakes several visionary projects in the field of Tamil Language and Cultural Education for the younger generation in US - organized the participation of students from the Tri-State (NY, NJ, and CT) Tamil Schools in the UN's 71st session inauguration and the International Day of Peace event held in the sidelines of General Assembly session.

The students who attended this conference heard presentations from the U.N Secretary-General and interacted with UN Messengers of Peace, Goodwill Ambassadors, and young leaders that aim to inspire youth to become more involved in creating a more peaceful world for all.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon detailed in his address the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to the young students’ community. The theme for the 2016 International Day of Peace, The Sustainable Development Goals–Building Blocks for Peace, aims to draw attention to the 17 global goals that will guide our world toward peace and prosperity from now until 2030.

On this particular day, the students also had the opportunity to listen to many, important, influential people talking about the 17 sustainable development goals. These include Tawakkoll Karman (Nobel Peace Laureate), Leyma Gbowee (Nobel Peace Laureate), Shirin Ebadi (Nobel Peace Laureate), Leonardo DiCaprio (Hollywood Actor-Hero of the movie Titanic), Dr. Jane Goodall (UN messenger of peace), Stevie Wonder (UN messenger of peace), Michael Douglas (UN messenger of peace), Midori Goto (UN messenger of peace), and representatives of UN organizations from Rome, Liberia, and Cyprus.

“As part of our efforts to give our students community more exposure to the global leadership and policy making process, we took a team of 30 high school students and teaching volunteers from our New York, New Jersey and Connecticut Tamil Schools to attend the UN's 71st General Assembly on the International Day of Peace" day. They carried our cultural heritage message of Yadhum Oore Yaavarum Kelir (Every city is our city, everyone is our kin)" said Dr. Arul Veerappan, an Ivy League academician and the President of Valar Tamil Iyakkam.

He said: “We hope to get an opportunity to include other Tamil schools in the east coast region for this program in 2017 and even nationwide in later years”. Gnanasekaran, Coordinator of the event said, “The event helped us in creating interest among our Middle and High School students by sharing the UN event participation among the parents and teachers. Valar Tamil Iyakkam is exploring all possible opportunities and programs to prepare our Tamil students community to gain skills not just in our language but also in leadership and policy making process with the global perspective," he said.

Shivakumar, Organizing Secretary of the event said “We are confident that our students and teachers will take this message and encourage our students to plan their participation next year and initiate a project reflecting the adoption of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and present the success at the General Assembly next year”. Further he said, “Let us prepare our students to become the UN's Young Leaders, Messengers of Peace and Policy Makers through our collective effort to uphold our cultural heritage of "Yadhum Oore Yavarum Kelir" in the global stage forever”.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our community students to learn and reflect the importance of the global leadership, listen to the leaders of various countries, setting their own Sustainable Development goals for the Global Peace and also explore the United Nations HQ in New York City”, said Shanthi Thangaraj, the Principal of Thiruvalluvar Tamil School based in Edison, New Jersey. “I learnt talking to our children, the awareness and enriching experience this event instilled on them” said Bhuvaneswari Sekar, the Principal of Bharathi Tamil School based in South Windsor, Connecticut.

“Among the 17 sustainable development goals, eradication of hunger and sanitation are two goals that intrigue me the most. These two are more important to help life than the other goals” said Isai Maran Bala, a 9th grade student from New York. “The UN International Day of Peace conference taught me how to build lasting peace in the world, everyone has to be aware and come together and achieve the Sustainable Life Goals that are the building blocks to building lasting peace. These goals will help people all over the world and achieving those starts with the younger generations, together we can make the world a healthier, safer and more peaceful place to live in” said Shakthi Ravee, a high school 10th grade student from New Jersey.

More than 55 students and teaching volunteers from New York Tamil Academy, KumarasamySouth Brunswick, Malrboro, Plainsboro, Bridgewater, Thiruvalluvar-Edison and Newark Tamil Schools from New Jersey, Agaram, Bharathi and Kalvi Tamil Schools from Connecticut made this year's UN's International Day of Peace event special for Tamil community through their participation.

- Asian Tribune -

 The students and the organizers of the event before the UN headquarters building in New York
The organizers at the Peace Summit at the UN General Assembly.
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