The Global Peace Convention gathers a diverse community of peacebuilding practitioners, including youth and faith leaders and experts in business, international development, and education in a unique opportunity to explore innovative and action-driven solutions to critical global issues, share best practices, and strengthen strong multi-stakeholder partnerships.

The following excerpt is a reflection of a nine-year-old boy on the 2017 Global Peace Convention held in Manila, Philippines.


There is a story by Danish children’s storywriter Hans Christian Andersen that my son was introduced to this winter, the story of the little match girl.

After we read the story, he could not stop his tears. How could there be children in the world with no one to care for them, no one to feed them, no one to give them warmth and most importantly no one to love them? For him, the story is a reminder of all the suffering children in the world.

Kartikeya Sharma speaks at the Business and Economic Forum for the 2017 Global Peace Convention in Manila

Last night, as we witnessed the close of the Global Peace Convention 2017 from across the ocean in the United States, something again reminded him of the little match girl, and his tears began anew.

It was an important opportunity to drive home the message that we’ve been hearing over the live streamed plenaries and inspiring short videos from the convention: we are the moral and innovative leaders who can tackle problems that our human family faces that sometimes seem insurmountable.

I showed him the short quote from Kartikeya Sharma, spoken during the Global Peace Economic Forum,

“Let us in this hall remember Mahatma Gandhi, who asked us to think of the poorest and needy, and resolve, ‘What would you do, or what would you suggest that could help them.’ Any suggestion, or any change you would like to recommend which would actually effect the lives of the poorest.”

And we remembered, we have a light. We have our hands; we have our minds; we have our hearts driven by service to humanity, and most importantly we have others in this world who, like us, are driven by the same dream of making the world better for our entire human family. And when we work together – we can make sure the children of the world have the families that can love them, feed them and raise them to become successful, active, amazing adults.

Songwriter Hall of Fame recipients, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis speak at the 2017 GPC in Manila, Philippines

Terry Lewis said during the second plenary of the convention:

“You have to shed more light by being a brighter light. Bright light will change darkness but a dim light will be consumed by darkness. Please don’t be a dim light. Be involved. Be active.”

My son and I resolved last night, to do something, even small, for humanity, and pray that it will become a part of something larger that will change the world.

Many matches lit throughout the world can light the world and reach the children who are still cold, hungry and without love.

My son’s tears have dried for now, but the light inside his heart still burns strongly. This week we will find a place where he can put his passion into action. Thank you Global Peace Convention 2017 for lighting the fire in us.

For more updates from the Global Peace Convention 2017, visit: http://www.hyunjinmoon.com/global-peace-convention-2017/

The original post appears on Global Peace Foundation. Global Peace Foundation is an international non-sectarian, non-partisan, nonprofit organization, which promotes an innovative, values-based approach to peacebuilding, guided by the vision of One Family under God.  GPF engages and organizes a global network of public and private-sector partners who develop community, national, and regional peace building models as the foundation for ethical and cohesive societies. Dr. Hyun Jin Preston Moon is founder and chairman of the Global Peace Foundation.

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