Thandiwe Chama wins the International Children’s Peace Prize 2007
On December 16th 2007 the International Children’s Peace Prize 2007 has been handed to Thandiwe Chama from Lusaka, Zambia. She received the prize for her achievements in relation to children’s rights in Zambia, in particular the right to education.
Let us introduce to you a bright and courageous girl from Lusaka, Zambia (Africa): Thandiwe Chama. She is 16 years old and lives in one of the poorest neighbourhoods of the capital. Against all odds, Thandiwe is successful at school and even reaches out on a daily basis to make a difference f or those other vulnerable children who need help.
Thandiwe believes that education is the key to any child’s future, and ever since early childhood she has been active in improving educational opportunities for poor and vulnerable children like herself. In 1999, when she was only eight years old, her school was closed down because there were no teachers left. She refused to accept this and took the lead in walking to find another school, demanding her right f or education and bringing with her the 60 other children of her school. As a result, all children were taken into the Jack Cecup School.
This was the first time that she experienced that fighting for your rights can be worth while. Strengthened by this achievement, she wanted to make sure that all of the children could learn inside a building, rather than outside in the burning sun. She went to the local government official and got him to provide money f or a new building. And as her school was expanding, she successfully rallied support both within the community and from government officials to get new land for more classrooms.
Ever since, Thandiwe has been fighting for the right to education f or all children, including the poor and the ill.
Thandiwe honoured by Zambian government on the Day of the African Child.
Ever since 1991 Africa is celebrating the Day of the African Child on June 16th. Because of her effort for the children in her country, Thandiwe Chama was honoured and given an award by the Zambian government. Also she was invited to give a speech addressing all guests and especially the minister of Youth, Sports and Child Development. Thandiwe talked about the issues that she thinks are important when it comes to children’s rights. The minister gave a speech in reply to her and promised to bring Thandiwe’s speech to the government. The official theme of the day was “Right to Participation: Let Children be Seen and Heard“. A theme that perfectly matches the Children’s Peace Prize. Following Thandiwe’s speech, the ministry is going to work on a provision for children to participate in affairs that concern the nation.
Official opening “Thandiwe’s Library”
Following Thandiwe’s impressive speech during the official Children’s Peace Prize ceremony in 2007 a library has been offered to Thandiwe and her former primary school. “Thandiwe’s library” is the first out of 10 libraries to be build in developing countries, part of a project initiated by Z@ppelin, Biblionef and Mercis Publishing.
Thandiwe’s speech at the GYPI Norway
In September 2008 Thandiwe Chama was invited to give a speech at the Global Youth Peace Initiative in Norway. In September 2009 the University of Stavanger organized a GYPI (Global Youth Peacebuilding Initiative) conference in Stavanger, Norway.
“It’s so important to know that also a child has rights. At this school I learned about rights. And I knew then that this was something I wanted to fight for . Because if children are given an opportunity, they for sure can contribute in making this world a better place.” Thandiwe Chama
The International Children’s Peace Prize Award Ceremony 2007 was broadcasted in Holland on the NOS news, the RTL news and the “Jeugdjournaal” (children’s news).
Thandiwe Chama from Lusaka, Zambia
The International Children’s Peace Prize Award Ceremony 2007 was broadcasted in Holland on the NOS news, the RTL news and the “Jeugdjournaal” (children’s news). The international press has also done a report on the ceremony and the extraordinary winner. Thanks to BBC World Service, the German ZDF, Reuters and many other international news reports, Thandiwe has become hot news!
The Zambian National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) was at the airport when Thandiwe arrived in Zambia. She gave radio interviews, has been on the cover of all the Zambian newspapers and visited with the Sport, Youth and Child Development Deputy Minister Ms. Angela Chifire, who has promised to provide more land in order to build more classrooms. Thandiwe was invited by UNICEF to represent Zambia during the youth forum “SPEAK AFRICA” in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The forum will be made into a documentary and broadcast all over Africa.
The International Children’s Peace Prize has enabled Thandiwe to put the right of education for all children on the agenda again and thus move the world.