Dear World, I am one of the Great Apes! My home, the forest in Borneo, has been getting messy lately since about a decade ago: when all of you rushed and cut twenty thousand miles square to nothing, call it ‘yours’ and turn it into timber mining, palm oil plantation and heaven of illegal logging.
I couldn’t contact many of my friends anymore. Besides the reason that I don’t have cell phone or facebook account, I doubt they survived this all. Going from one place to another has been tough, food is gone, nowhere is safe. I heard from the birds, 250 to 1000 of us are kidnapped and sold as “illegal pets” per year. We become pests when we enter your palm oil plantation, and then your gun will end our lives. Some of you even consume us afterwards.
As sad as it is for me now, I can not blame any of you. You are as hungry as me, or even worse. You get your food from the forest just like us. The fact that many humans still do not know that our lives depend also on the forest makes me sad. I wish I can tell we are just animals and we are neither pests nor your enemies. But maybe it’s the jungle rule, isn’t it? The strongest will survive and we know you are the one. It’s indeed our fault that we can’t live in some place else but this forest.
Yet many of you have provided us with so much fruits, new homes, refugee centre, organizations, zoo and national park where many of us feel safe. A human visited me today; she asked a question, “If you could tell the world what you need from our technology to save your population, what would it be?”
I need technology that let them know The Great Apes are friends of human and members of the forest too. I think a phone number; they called it “Hotline number” and cell phone. What do you think?
If I could be back soon to my real forest home, I want the humans to be as kind as people in this rehabilitation centre. Involve them to know about us. It would be nice to know that human will have their cell phone to call the rescue team to take me back to the “real” forest when I enter palm oil plantation, less people will kidnap us because more people be aware and notice, and when other humans illegally cut my house, they can call a number with the cell phone to save me and to stop the cutting.
The best cages, technology, not even cloning will make everything better than our original home of The Great Apes: our habitat. And nothing can save the forest, but human and all of us: those who need it the most. Give a call, and you’ll save us.
Orang Utan In KBS (Surabaya Zoo, rehabilitation centre of Orang Utan)
I am Dhia Fani, one of the 70 YES exchange studens program from Indonesia who is now studying in United States. In early March, I had the opportunity to attend Civics Education Workshop in Washington DC organized by U.S. Department of State along with 115 friends from 40 other countries.
In this activity, I had the opportunity to write a song titled “We Are The Generation” along with Shyer (Bangladesh) and Milos (Serbia), which we performed along with his friends from Pakistan, Africa, etc. We wrote the song in less than 2 hours.
This song describes the challenge of the world that often makes the younger generation gives up in achieving their dreams and hopes. Inspired by the challenges that young people face, we believe that our generation is the one that will determine the future of this world and we must keep trying.
Through this post I would like to share about this young leaders that work together to help each other and alternately support for peace. Regardless of the complexity of the issues they face, they continue to dream and keep trying to contribute together to create positive change.
Hopefully this video will inspire our generation and inspire the world that with hope and cooperation, every dream is possible.
Dhia F.S Fani
This is a video of Raffi performing a song about the conflict in Middle East. This song inspires us to understand that the war and violence give harms physiologically and materially to every part of us. Moreover toward children, who get nothing but most of the negative impact. They have less power to protect themselves and to understand what's happening around them. Children who have dreams, bright potentials within them, and who need supportive environment during their growth, living in a war and conflict area is a life situation we all never wish to happen. The duty of peacemaking relies on us as young generation of the world. We have opportunity to make a new path and make a peaceful circle where we all belong.