Tamil School kids attend UN Summit

Students and organizers of the event before the UN headquarters  building in New York

Students and organizers of the event before the UN headquarters building in New York

UNITED NATIONS: US based volunteers run Tamil School 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.

“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 New York, New Jersey and Connecticut Tamil Schools, ” said Dr. Arul Veerappan, an Ivy League academician and the President of Valar Tamil Iyakkam.

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”

“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”, said Shanthi Thangaraj, Principal of Thiruvalluvar Tamil School based in Edison, New Jersey.

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 students also had the opportunity to listen to 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.

More than 55 students and teaching volunteers from New York Tamil Academy, Kumarasamy South 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.

Prakash Swamy