NEW YORK -- While international relations remains a top agenda item for political leaders, and threats to our global stability continue to trouble the minds of people worldwide, children from around the globe are teaching us about world peace through the Lions International art contest.
Fourteen-year-old Hispanic American Karen Mendoza, whose parents and sister immigrated from Mexico to Reading, Pa., is one of the top winners for her painting depicting hot air balloons wrapped with international monuments, flags, music, people and other symbols of global harmony. She was inspired by her parents who described world peace as the ability to “move freely.”
“Like all people, each balloon is unique, but they remain together in harmony,” said Mendoza, an eighth grader at Wilson West Middle School who was sponsored for the contest by the Spring Township Lions Club. “The balloon of flags represents nations uniting to rise. I was hoping to promote the liberty to move freely and the celebration of peace.”
A total of 600,000 children ages 11-13 from 60 countries shared their vision of world peace through the Lions International Peace Poster contest. Mendoza is one of 24 top-rated artists being featured and given the opportunity to have her artwork exhibited in a pop-up art show at the World Trade Center Oculus Plaza and to present her painting to UN diplomats and pass out black and white coloring pages of the artwork in NYC to encourage others to color and share their own vision of peace.
“As adults we try to teach children, but in today’s world children can teach adults and our global leaders,” said Lions Clubs International President Chancellor Bob Corlew. “In a world where we are constantly reminded of what divides us, this is a way to look with fresh eyes at something that unites us,” continued Corlew who spent the past year traveling the globe talking with Lions volunteers about the future of volunteerism as the organization marks its 100th anniversary. “Art cuts across all languages and cultures. It’s a powerful tool to help kids teach us valuable lessons and promote global understanding.”
As the world’s largest service organization, Lions International has facilitated the International Peace Poster contest for 29 years through its 45,000 clubs in 210 countries.
“Not only does the Peace Poster contest encourage kids to demonstrate their art skills, it is also a great way for kids to get a better understanding of world peace,” Mendoza continued. “I did a lot of research and thinking about the concept of peace during the creation of my poster. It feels motivating to be honored and recognized for this work and to help educate others about the importance of peace, which is important for kids at this age.”
For more info, visit www.lionsclubs.org. •
Source Lions Clubs International