"Misunderstanding and contradictions can build walls around people, shrouding all of us in darkness," said Cheuk Tat Li, a 12-year-old student from Hong Kong. "People will then live in a place without peace, warmth and happiness."
With a vivid imagination and dreams of a harmonious world, Li created the grand prize-winning poster in the 2004-2005 Lions International Peace Poster Contest.
"Trying its best and overcoming all difficulties, the dove breaks the solid walls into pieces with its tiny beak to save the world which is trapped in the dark maze," Li said when describing his winning poster.
The contest provides children ages 11, 12 and 13 with a means to share their views on peace. An estimated 350,000 children participated in this year's program, "Give Peace a Chance."
Since its beginning in 1988, more than 3 million children in nearly 100 countries have participated in the contest. Lions Clubs International, the world's largest service club organization, sponsors the contest in local schools and organized youth groups.
At this year's final judging, members of the art, education, media, peace and youth communities gathered at The Peace Museum in Chicago to evaluate the 114 posters on creativity, artistic merit and expression of theme. The posters were previously narrowed down at several levels of judging before being sent to Lions Clubs International Headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill.
As this year's grand-prize winner, Li was presented with an award and $2,500 during a special ceremony at "Lions Day with the United Nations" in New York City. Li was a merit award winner in last year's contest.
Twenty-three merit award winners were each awarded $500 and a certificate of merit. This year's merit award winners are from Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Guam, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan, Peru, Poland, Thailand and the United States.
All 24 posters will appear in an exhibit that will travel to children's museums and various events throughout the United States.