WHERE IS THE HUMAN INTEREST... THE LIGHT MILLENNIUM
Transcriptions from the Five-Panel Interview with Bircan Ünver by
Transcription/Part 2 - Interviewed by: LAUREN FIORENTINO
LMTV - UNNGO PROFILES: WHERE IS THE HUMAN INTEREST... THE LIGHT MILLENNIUM -
Part 1/2 from The Light Millennium TV - LMTV on Vimeo.
Interviewers in part 1: Mel Berkowitz, Lauren Fiorentino and Gordon Kelly
WHERE IS THE HUMAN INTEREST...
The Light Millennium
Lauren Fiorentino: Hello, my name is Lauren Fiorentino and I have been an educator for at least twenty five years. So my question to Bircan would be in Education. So I would like to know about the diversity and the concepts you have in Education.
Bircan Ünver: Thank you so much for that question. Initially, I have dreamt that I hope I will one day, I will form the Light Millennium also as an education institution. At that time even during the formation process, I’ve been ask by the group of attorneys, that this is so much education, literature publication that don’t you want to include also Education item into the mission? I said, Yes. I love to but, since we don’t have fund and actual assets, so therefore we may not be able to meet with the criteria. So it was the issue then and is still it is now. However, this has been in the core vision of the organization in particular after the effect of 9/11. I developed an idea that will be a global diversity home and school project for the for the kids who lost mother, father, orphans troubled through wars, through conflicts, through disasters. I really developed this concept as another version of the United Nations, but only dedicated to the children of the world. It requires membership of the countries that let’s say, that any country is willing to send, you can have a global home and school project without government endorsement. Therefore, the UN model is the right model to develop a project that let’s say, that the least developing countries and if become a member of that institution, based on whether or not being funded, the children will have education opportunities not only for a few years but starting on two or three years old, and on until finishing the university for either having enough for a profession or academic career so that’s a kind of a life term commitment! On the other hand, there is another aspect that each graduated student who has already obtained a profession or job that those will commit to supporting up to three new children/students until they also could finish their university that also could sustain their future.
So this was developed in 2001, and in 2004, I further developed and dedicated to the children of the world and published on the Light Millennium's website. So, it is also introduced in the worldwide. Further, it was part of our association’s document to the UN. So the idea is there and [I assume] it is globally acknowledged and even I sent it to the Clinton Foundation because this is an idea, a vision, but it requires intergovernmental cooperation, membership cooperation, major funding but, it is not even enough and because we need to create an international educational model.
Lauren: Has the UN considered that?
Bircanr: I did propose it. That was actually part of our application, for instance in the last couple of years I’ve been proposing a UNNGO Conference to be dedicated on Children to the Department of Public Information, which organizes annual UNNGO Conference since 1948. So I’ve been proposing it to UN DPI to dedicate a conference on children from zero age to eighteen. Now, youth has become a little bit on the surface on so many projects and programs but really there haven't been an international conference on children so far including by the UN UNESCO, by the UNICEF by the UN, especially DPI which has 16,000 international organization.
Lauren: Did you try by the UNICEF?
Bircan: UNICEF has also its own program but UNICEF works also with the governments , so the idea is if the DPI will dedicate a conference to the children of the world, specially the stateless and the under privileged children from zero to eighteen years old, that will [hopefully] lead up to launching the school starting from [perhaps] pre-K, Kindergarten, elementary, and you know when one section is accomplished, the second goes on, and also it is in parallel because one country could hold one section and another country could hold another section. So it is a global project. It is not [envisioned] only in one location but it is supposed to be in six continents and warm climate and that children could survive. Overall, it is still a vision.
Lauren: It is a big project.
Bircan: It is a big vision. I don’t know whether The Light Millennium will be able to realize it or to implement at least one of its section!
Lauren: But you will never know if you don’t try..
Bircan: Yes, so thank you so much for that statement because Light Millennium has multiple projects and multiple platform and so once I introduce and promote, it’s there, but you know one program after another, so you don’t get to the surface all the [presented/existing projects all the] time…
Lauren: So what program do you have in place now that you could tell us about?
Bircan: We produce television programs (The Light Millennium TV - LMTV), organize events along with it is the e-publications, which are the core skeleton of the organization. But most of the non-profits, and NGOs, when they have a website, they most promote their own organization's. So our differences is really is that we are a unique organization because we promote public interest media. There are few public interest NGOs, and maybe, let’s say Democracy Now one of those!. But general public [mostly] don’t understand what is the benefit of public media globally. Yes, in Queens, there is QPTV but it is based on 1992 Communication Act and it has its own long history in the U.S. Thus, The Light Millennium has inspired by it but it has set up as a global model for that, which is not available in the Middle East and in the developing countries.
Lauren: Do you have people helping you with that?
Bircan: On the project base, for example in the website, people send in their ideas. So we bring those ideas together, present them side-by-side. Therefore this program is very important because, we promote other ideas, other organizations, and the diverse programs but then, most people consider that Light Millennium is powerful because we are able to do so with the passion, with the belief of that need, in absent of so many practices... We are out there… So when we’ve done [produced a new event or issue, or television program] that, even though most people don’t know how many people behind it, most people don’t know [if] we’re not funded and we produce everything in volunteer-based but everything again is based on[depending on] each project. So we are able to continue whatever we can in cooperation, volunteer efforts and commitment as well as with passion, and [trying] specially in investing in youth and children…
Lauren: When you talk about children, I was a teacher with the disabled, and the schools in the United States are having trouble with these disabled and I’m not even sure, if many of the countries of the world have identified the disabled and how to deal with them. Does your organization have contact with that?
Bircan: Not really! Maybe, [we could set up] a few example, a practice to collaborate with the schools and then develop a project and present it together, and going through the whole process, we’ve done several examples but each one had a goal as an annual program. But it remains as one or two programs because of the absence of the other’s support and sustain each of them. For instance, if you know someone and if you’re willing to collaborate in that aspect, I would be more than happy to collaborate with you and work for that project. And so this very much the way we work, you come, and I have this idea and I think that your organization has some tolerance or willing to do this and as long as you take and you know that there is some fund and as long as we are able to get fund or we are able to get in collaboration, only then we can...
Lauren: I have understood that the Light Millennium organization is open to the people who are interested. Could you tell us how these people who are interested on how they can contact you?
Bircan: If one writes about something, for example, about disabled children or based on one’s experience, and they would like to e-publish, on the Light Millennium, I would be more than happy. And then, once it is being published, it will be globally available. Also in terms of copyright, you and the organization will have the fifty/fifty percent of the copyright, which is actually if you are able to establish that, it is the new or alternative way of authenticating or protecting rights of authorship of an idea or ideas.
If that article is claimed by a profitable media for profitable purpose, then I will ask what is your expectation to be compensated for this article. I will reflect that to third party if they agree or what is being proposed… so everything will be a lifetime commitment with that particular piece… and that will be yours and the organizations contribution to the world.
Lauren Fiorentino: So how do the people get in touch with you?
Bircan Ünver: Through the website, lightmillennium.org and also through email to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lauren Fiorentino: Thank you very much and It’s been interesting learning about your program, Light Millennium. Now I’m turning over to the next host, Gordon Kelly.
Special Thanks to:
Cora FERNANDEZ, Volunteer Asistant to The Light Millennium, for the transcription of the interview.