The grand prize winner of this year's Lions International Peace Poster Contest is Ming Yang Soong, a 13-year-old boy from Bidor, Malaysia. His poster, selected from 350,000 entries from 81 countries, portrays the theme "Peace Around the World." As the grand prize winner, Soong receives a trip to New York City for a special award ceremony during Lions Day with the United Nations.
"All nations must work together to keep this world peaceful," Soong said. "If there is peace in the world, we can progress and live in harmony. I hope that all countries on this planet will support peace."
During the past two decades more than four million children, ages 11 to 13, have artistically shared their visions for peace through the Lions International Peace Poster Contest. Lions Clubs sponsor the contest in schools and organized youth programs. The contest provides an outlet for children and adults to discuss the meaning of world peace while visually portraying their feelings. Now entering its 21st year, the contest has been held in more than 100 countries.
"Today the world is divided into pieces by hatred, terrorism and war," said Kajol Chetan Bid, a merit award winner from India. "Together we can make this world a better place to live in - a world full of love and peace."
Winners have come from all across the globe, many from areas where children do not know peace.
"Peace is a gift to live and to let others live it," said Feliccina Sioufi of Lebanon, a merit award winner.
Lions Clubs International President Mahendra Amarasuriya said, "Lions in many nations have embraced the Peace Poster Contest as a hands-on way to promote peace and to support the young people in their communities. It is another way Lions have accepted the challenge to change the world."
The 24 finalists' peace posters will be exhibited during the year at children's museums and various locations throughout the United States. Visit www.lionsclubs.org to view posters and send e-cards.
Lions Clubs International is the world's largest service club organization with nearly 1.3 million members in approximately 45,000 clubs in 202 countries and geographical areas around the world. Since 1917, Lions Clubs have aided the blind and visually impaired while making a strong commitment to community service and serving youth throughout the world.
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