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In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Voices of Future Generations, launched by the non-profit organization World Future Council, was held for the first time in Asia this year. Elementary school student Kuo Yu-yin from Taipei won the gold certificate with her piece, “Forest Fireflies After the Hurricane," outshining participants from China, Indonesia, New Zealand, Malaysia and so on.

Voices of Future Generations was launched by C.G. Weeramantry, a UNESCO Peace Education Prize Laureate and former Vice-President of the International Court of Justice. Weeramantry was inspired by the strength of children and believed the key to changing the world comes from the hope, courage, creativity and kindness of children. Through the World Future Council promoting the writing of environmental stories and calling on the UN and other related foundations, the winning works will be translated and published in six languages.

Gold certificate winner Kuo Yu-yin is 11 years old and enjoys reading, swimming and traveling. She also has passion in learning languages, writing and doing research. Kuo’s dream is to become a good doctor and author. She hopes her story, “Forest Fireflies After the Hurricane," can convey environmental protection concepts so people can live in a better Earth in the future.

UDN reports, “Forest Fireflies After the Hurricane" is presented as a story that describes how the hillsides of diverse and beautiful villages are now covered with betel nut trees because of economic pressure. But the trees have shallow roots and lead to serious landslides when strong typhoons occur.

In the second half of the story, the valley is transformed into a bare land and the villagers realize the importance of ecological conservation and sustainable development. They put a stop to over-development and environmental conservation which brings back the original beautiful habitat and diverse species.

The child author in the Africa region of Voices of the Future Generations this year went to ten-year-old Diwa Boateng. In his story, “The Forward and backward City," Boateng describes the inequality in African cities through the relationship between two friends, one wealthy and the other poor. His story is based on his place of birth, South Africa, Ghana, where his father was born, and Zimbabwe and Zambia, where his mother grew up. Apart from being a UN Climate Justice Ambassador, Boateng is also a certified computer game designer.

Winner of the Middle East Child Author Kehkashan Basu comes from Dubai. In her story, “The Tree of Hope," the female protagonist, Khadra, grows up in a desert and isn’t allowed to go out and play with her friends because her mother is afraid of her getting heat stroke. One day, Khadra’s uncle brings her a seedling and under her attentive care, it grows into a huge tree under which she can play with her friends.

(Kehkashan Basu calling upon people to use renewable energy resources)

Translated by Olivia Yang