Kesz Valdez (Philippines)
Amina (Ghana), Anwara (India)
Archbishop Desmond Tutu
At the International Children's Peace Prize 2012, the following speakers were present:
Amina from Ghana thinks education is necessary to live a peaceful life. At a young age, she risked being taken out of school to be forced into marriage. Her teachers managed to prevent this in collaboration with the local authorities. Since then, Amina has become the co-founder and representative of the “Achievers Book Club”, an organisation that defends the rights of children in general and strives for education for girls in particular. She petitions the relevant authorities asking for constitutional changes, joins forces with other NGOs and organises forums about education for girls aimed at opinion leaders from various communities. Despite her young age, Amina has already made many people in Ghana aware of girls’ right to education.
Anwara is from the West Bengal region in India, an area notorious for the trafficking of girls. After her father passed away Anwara was given to a local human trafficker by her family in exchange for some money and a share of her monthly salary. She was only nine years old. She was forced into domestic labour, but her family never received any of the promised money. In 2008 Anwara was freed by a local NGO. From then on she has been fighting the trafficking of girls and early marriage. Thanks to her 200 children who had left school picked up their education where they had left off. Anwara has managed to help prevent several cases of girl trafficking in her surroundings and she has reunited many girls with their families. Moreover, she has helped prevent a number of early marriages by pressuring the local authorities.
Kesz from the Philippines won the International Children’s Peace Prize in 2012. The prize was presented to him by Nobel Peace Laureate Desmond Tutu. At the age of 13, Kesz won the prize for his achievements in helping street children in his country.
The 2012 project fund is invested in three foundations in the Philippines that work on the promotion and protection of the rights of street children. C3, the organisation of 2012 winner Kesz, facilitates health knowledge, rights awareness and community development to improve the living conditions of (potential) street children. CHAP and Bahay Tuluyan focus on children and youth living on the streets and providing care through a range of services such as food, street education, medical care and counseling, whereby empowering youth to reach out to their peers.