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By Sirjan Kalakheti, Nepalese Scholar, UWCT 2018

I believe in peace and harmony among people.

It is lunchtime on Wednesday. I am sitting in the corner of the dining hall with a plate full of chicken, fries and American salad. Meanwhile, I remember my past where I used to eat only beaten rice (a kind of Indian dry food with very few nutrients) with tea every day.

I flood with emotion and think about the reasons for being in that situation. I think that the lack of peace is the main reason for my hard times. My parents were members of the Red Armies (Communist related fighters), who wanted to bring peace, development, and freedom through the path of violent outbreaks. From late 1996 to 2006, thousands of people, including my parents, fought against the Kingdom of Nepal. As a result, I became an orphan and was forced to move into an orphanage home.

I went to the orphanage home at the age of ten years, and I was not aware of my situation. I had the same violence and anger against the government as my parents did. This was the same situation for many children and other fighters of Nepal. As I grew up, I started to believe in peace. As I decided to move in the path of peace, there was a question from my friends and community that I was surrendering against the government, and becoming a bad son because I didn’t support my parent’s path. I decided to become an ambassador of peace. I earned a scholarship to United World College, Thailand, and now I’m living in the USA in search of peace education.

If people from Nepal, including my parents, believed in peace, then I would not be an orphan. I would not have eaten just beaten rice twice a day for ten years. I have one question to my parents and others in the Red Armies: What did you get after sacrificing your life, and what changes do the Nepalese people experience in current times? My answer is, nothing! So, if they had chosen the way of peace like Mahatma Gandhi, thousands of people would not have died; thousands of children would not have been made orphans, and millions of people would not have been injured.

Now, I choose to believe in peace and I’m committed to the journey for peace.