13 November, DHARAMSALA, INDIA. Nobel Peace Prize Awardee His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet and has expressed support for children leading the way for peaceful means in communities affected by conflict and violence around the world through a creative, children-inclusive initiative called Kites for Peace!
Photo at Right: Ms. Sarah Queblatin and His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
The Dalai Lama encourages dialogue led by children “as a means of resolving problems, whether at home or in school so they will grow up to be adults and leaders who will rely on such peaceful means to resolve conflicts at the national or international level.” He believes that “the 20th century was a century of war and bloodshed, and for the survival of humanity we need to make this 21st century, the century of dialogue and non-violence. In order for this to happen, much of the responsibility needs to be shouldered by today’s children, who are the leaders of the 21st century!”
Kites for Peace was inspired by the 13,000 kites that children of Gaza flew in 2011 to break a Guiness World Record of simultaneous kite flying. What started out as a creative response to the death of children in Gaza and Israel during the Israel-Hamas war last July 2014 has blossomed into an emerging global action creating spaces for children’s voices to be heard through simple children-inclusive compassion circles in schools and communities. Flying kites is a symbolic action of the innocent voices of children not only in Gaza but in all other communities affected by violence around the world!
The Philippines, facing the implementation of the recent signing of Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), the peace agreement between the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is aiming to break the next world record by flying 25,000 kites together with children of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), the Department of Education, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the leaders of the MILF to unite in the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law as part of the initial implementation of the peace agreement!
To date, Kites for Peace has so far flown 434 kites in the Philippines, United States, and Zimbabwe. From November 18 - December 7, groups and communities will fly kites not only in the Philippines but in Argentina and Nepal, in support of the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children in celebration of the anniversary of the Convention of the Rights of the Child. More countries have expressed interest in doing the same!
Kites for Peace is in partnership with Mandala Earth Story Project, Binhi ng Kapayapaan Inc. (Seeds of Peace), Anak Mindanao (Children of Mindanao), The Charter for Compassion, Compassion Games International, The Global Network of Religions for Children, and Unify. To know more and to join the project, visit www.peacekites.org!