Julian Lennon's journey to discover his own identity through humanitarian, environmental causes

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 2) — Much have been written about Julian Lennon as a musician and photographer, more so as the son of much-celebrated music legend and The Beatles member John Lennon.

But there's much more about Julian, who in his journey of discovering his own identity decided to lend his hands to those in need and make a big difference.

Aside from making music and capturing the world's beauty through the lens, the once Grammy nominee juggles humanitarian and environmental activities in his hands.

The 56-year-old artist is currently leading The White Feather Foundation, which he founded to give voice and support to those who cannot be heard.

Since its establishment in 2007, the foundation--through public donations--has launched numerous projects to provide clean water, as well as health and education services, among others, to indigenous people around the world.

The group also promotes the "protection of indigenous culture and lands around the world."

His visit in the Philippines is part of the Department of Tourism's campaign to promote sustainable tourism. The DOT is currently exploring opportunities to collaborate with WFF.

How it all started

The younger Lennon recounted that his passion in helping indigenous groups sparked when an elder member of The Mirning tribe handed him a white feather while he was on a tour for his album Photograph Smile in Australia.

"Dad once said to me, that should he pass away, if there was some way of letting me know he was going to be okay - that we were all going to be okay - the message would come to me in the form of a white feather," he recalled in an interview with CNN Philippines.

"So when I received this white feather I was pretty freaked out," he said.

His meeting with the tribe posed a life-changing question for Julian.

"It's a question of do I just continue just being a rock and roller or do I step up to the plate? And I decided to step up to the plate," he said.

Julian began learning more about the group by listening to their daily struggles. He, then, decided to tell the world about their stories through a documentary.

"The idea was if documentary was gonna make any money at all, the money would go back to them to help them sustain their lives, and culture, and the only way of doing it in that particular point in time was to do it through a foundation," he said.

The White Feather Foundation was, then, born.

"Being able to help others help themselves, that's our real drive," he said.

Educating children

Aside from providing education to poor children, Julian also teaches the younger generation about the key issues hounding the world.

In 2017, he wrote a book aimed at educating children about today's environmental and humanitarian issues.

With the help of his friends New York Times bestselling author Bart Davis and artist Smiljana Coh, Julian launched "Touch The Earth," an illustrated book that tackles stories about environmental issues like plastic usage and lack of clean water.

With the book, he also wanted to help parents establish better relationships with their children.

"The idea was to have beautiful illustrations, beautiful little stories about environmental and humanitarian issues. But tell them in a very specific way. Tell in a way that will open up the conversation about children and parents, so that at bed time, at nap time the bonds would become greater between the parent and child," he said.

"While the kids are questioning why we have these problems in the world, it was also about re-educating the parents as well," he added.