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13-year-old Filipino gets International Children’s Peace Prize

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The International Children’s Peace Prize 2012 was presented to Kesz (13) from the Philippines at the Ridderzaal in The Hague today. Of the three nominated children, who have all made extraordinary efforts in the area of children’s rights, the Expert Committee selected Kesz as the winner. He was awarded the prize by Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu.

Kesz received this award for his efforts to improve the rights of street children in the Philippines, where more than 246,000 street children are subjected to abuse, violence and child labour. Many of them also struggle to cope with major health issues. Kesz was in the same situation. He was severely abused and forced to scavenge at the dumpsite at the age of two. Three years later, he sustained burns on his arm and back, which forced him to run away and look for help. He has transformed his own experiences into a drive to help other street children and inspire them to change their own lives…

For his seventh birthday, Kesz didn’t want any presents for himself. Instead, he wanted to give something to other street children: Gifts of Hope. That same year, Kesz started his own organization, Championing Community Children, aimed at giving street children hope and showing them that they can take their future into their own hands. Every week, he and his friends go to underprivileged communities to teach children about hygiene, food and children’s rights. He even takes things a step further, by teaching children how to teach each other. He has so far helped more than 10,000 children in his local area…

Kesz was presented with the prize by Desmond Tutu, the patron of KidsRights and the International Children’s Peace Price. According to Tutu, Kesz is a deserving and inspiring example of “a new voice for the voiceless”. Kesz was presented with the Nkosi, a unique sculpture which shows how a child can move the world. The sculpture symbolises the impact of the International Children’s Peace Prize…

Bravo!

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Written by Ed Campbell

September 21, 2012 at 6:00 am

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