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Williams Lake’s Rea Klar represents Canada at UN’s 3rd Global Peace Summit

Rea Klar graduated from Cariboo Adventist Academy in 2020 and now attends Trinity Western University
Rea Klar at the 3rd Global Peace Summit at the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok, Thailand from Jan. 10 to 12, 2024. She was one of three representatives for Canada. (Photo submitted)

Williams Lake’s Rea Klar was selected as one of 11 people worldwide to attend the 3rd Global Peace Summit at the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok, Thailand Jan. 10 to 12, 2024.

Klar, who graduated from Cariboo Adventist Academy in 2020 and attends Trinity Western University (TWU), was selected with two other TWU students out of 350 applicants. The three of them represented Canada at the summit.

“I felt very proud to represent the Punjabi community as well as Canada,” said Klar, noting the summit was a life-changing experience.

“Being able to meet the world’s top young leaders … was incredible, but also hearing the stories of guest speakers who have experienced human suffering like no other, that was really impactful.”

During the summit, Klar presented a Global Peace Prize to Cambodian-American human rights activist and memoirist of the book First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers, Loung Ung. Klar was also interviewed for the 3rd Global Peace Summit 2024 video by Humanitarian Affairs Asia, highlighting the event.

Klar’s parents, Ravi and Parm, were born in India before moving to Canada and having Klar in 2002 and her brother, Arwin, two years later. The family moved from Penticton to Williams Lake when her parents purchased the Husky gas station.

A second-generation immigrant, Klar became interested in activism after seeing her Indian and Canadian cultures clash, stating that in Indian culture, she was raised to take advantage of every opportunity, but growing up in Canada, she witnessed complacency.

Klar, who is in her fourth year at TWU with a major in biology and a minor in psychology, plans on becoming an optometrist and hopes to open clinics in India one day.

“I’m really passionate about accessible healthcare to those who are living in poverty,” said Klar. “In India, there are so many families and children that can’t access eye care.”

For Klar, the peace summit reminded her of the importance of listening to stories of suffering and trauma — stories that motivate people to fight against human suffering and ignite compassion and empathy for those underprivileged, Klar explained.

She also was able to realize the power of young people.

“I don’t think young people are the future of the world. I think we’re the now. I think right now we can make a difference.”

Klar also explained that the world has never seen a more culturally and globally connected generation with the potential to change the world because of technology.

She encouraged young people to be bold in the space of adversity and discomfort.

“When you have a life where you don’t have to worry about war and go to school as a woman and have all these advantages, it’s your duty to help others.”

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Kim Kimberlin, Local Journalism Initiative

About the Author: Kim Kimberlin, Local Journalism Initiative

I joined Black Press Media in 2022, and have a passion for covering topics on women’s rights, 2SLGBTQIA+ and racial issues, mental health and the arts.
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