In 2016, Kehkashan won the International Children’s Peace Prize. The two other nominees have all made an impressive difference in their environment, at a very young age, each in their own way:
Divina Maloum (12) - Cameroon
Nominated for her fight for peace and against redicalization
Divina Maloum is a 12 year old girl who lives in Cameroon. After learning about extremist violence and its impact on children, she started a program called ‘I am standing up for peace’. Thousands of children have disappeared in Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria. They have been separated from their families and are facing exploitation, abuse and recruitment by armed groups as child soldiers. Attacks and suicide bombings in communities are killing children, destroying schools and are sowing fear.
“I am standing up for peace”
Muzoon Almellehan (18) - Syria
Nominated for her fight for the right to education of child refugees
Muzoon Almellehan is an 18 year old girl who comes from Syria. Three years ago, Muzoon and her family were forced to flee their country and they found shelter in a refugee camp in Jordan. The war has put almost half of the country’s pre-war population of 23 million in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. 4.8 million Syrians have fled their country, and another 6.5 million are displaced within Syria; half of all Syrian refugees are children. Refugee children are extremely vulnerable; malnutrition and diseases brought on by poor sanitation, are threatening the health of children. Occurrences of early marriage and child labor have risen dramatically among Syrian refugee children, and the longer children are out of school, the lower the likelihood they will return and get an education. This, together with the lack of educational opportunities, has left almost 3 million Syrian children out of school.