Assuming the mind of a tiger cub, a young Malaysian girl has won a United Nations letter-writing competition, beating out over 3 million other youngsters from around the world who were asked to put themselves in the position of a wild animal whose habitat is threatened by environmental or climate change.
“I want to congratulate you all. Many of you have good education and live in your so-called world of modernization. Does this mean that humans are civilized?” 14-year-old Sze Ee Lee wrote, taking on the role of the cub living in the endangered rainforest.
“Yet, why do humans still need to invade our jungle besides hunting us like in those primitive days? Dear people of the World, don’t burn our homes and occupy the area, our natural habitat. We have no other place to go.”
It is the first time that Malaysia has won the international competition sponsored by the UN Universal Postal Union (UPU) since it began in 1972.
“We are helpless. We depend on you – the People of the World to save us,” the letter concludes, winning unanimous praise from the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) jury.
“With her sensitivity and imagination, the young Malaysian successfully conveyed the urgency of the situation and sent us a message: we must unite to save our planet,” the jury said.
For next year’s 37th competition, the UPU is inviting youngsters to write a letter explaining why the world needs more tolerance, a particularly relevant theme in an age of globalization, migration and other trends bringing ever more people from different cultures into contact with each other.
“Creating a world in which all people live in harmony is a noble goal to which each of us can aspire,” the UPU said.
Predating the UN by seven decades, the UPU was founded in 1874, the second-oldest international organization after the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). It is the primary forum for cooperation between postal services, setting the rules for international mail exchanges among its 190 members.