Baruani Ndume (Congo)
Daniel (Macedonia), Emanuel (Philippines), Fatema (Afghanistan), Rasmita (India)
Prof. Wangari Maathai
At the International Children's Peace Prize 2009, the following speakers were present:
Daniel is a Roma who was living in a SOS children’s village in Skopje, Macedonia. Daniel is an orphan and an only child. Before his move to the SOS village in 2006 he had been living with foster families and in orphanages. As is well known, the Romas, also known as gypsies, are a population group that are greatly discriminated and marginalized in society. To fight this, Daniel converses with other youths about tolerance between different population groups within society.
Emanuel is from the Philippines, and was living in a small slum area. He had been working since he was a little boy to be able to pay for school because his parents could not afford it. His days would start at 3 o’clock am with cleaning vans after which he would work in a garbage disposal to increase his income. On the weekends he would sell corn on the streets.
Fatema promotes the right to education in Afghanistan, a country where it is not always obvious that girls go to school. Also, she strives to have more female teachers in schools and fights against physical punishment of children in school.
Rasmita is a physically challenged girl from India. When she was young her leg was paralyzed due to a polio infection. As she is from a poor, rural and religious community, people in her environment did not have proper information on the infectious disease and believed that the paralyzes was caused by a curse from her previous life. And therefore, she was not allowed to go to school.
In 2009, Baruani received the International Children’s Peace Prize, at the age of 16, from Nobel Peace Laureate Prof. Wangari Maathai. Baruani has lived in the Nyarugusu refugee camp in Tanzania since he fled the DRC at the age of 7. He tries to convert this life experience into positive action, by actively helping fellow refugee children. His radio show is one of the key ways in which he tries to help his peers.
The goal of this project is to improve the school performance of children in primary schools by creating a child-friendly learning environment. Libraries have been set up to create access to books and internet services and to support online study and computer lessons. Through sports and cultural activities the wellbeing of the children in Nyarugusa Camp and the neighboring communities is improving.