Neha Gupta (USA)
Alexey (Russia), Andrew (Ghana)
Archbishop Desmond Tutu
At the International Children's Peace Prize 2014, the following speakers were present:
Alexey (17) from Russia is the face of the battle against the discrimination of the LGBTI youth (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersexed). He is the driving force behind the project ‘Children-404’; an online community where young Russian homosexuals and transgenders can exchange experiences. Alexey himself is openly homosexual and knows how important this support is. When the initiator of the project was persecuted for homosexual propaganda, Alexey organized a protest campaign, through which he inspired other youngsters to follow his example. He has been attacked twice on the street, but nothing can stop him in his fight against oppression.
Andrew (13) was eleven when he saw images of the famine in Somalia. He decided to take action to help these children. In the project Save Somali Children From Hunger, he collected money in the neighborhood and drew attention to the food crisis in the Horn of Africa. His activities did not go unnoticed, as he was soon invited to appear on radio and television. He is currently working on a food aid project to ensure that children in Ghana get three nourishing meals a day.
Neha from the USA won the International Children’s Peace Prize in 2014. The prize was presented to her by Nobel Peace Laureate Desmond Tutu. At the age of 18, Neha won the prize for her fight for the rights of vulnerable children and for inspiring other children to take action.
The theme of the International Children’s Peace Prize 2014 is child participation and youth changemaking. Winner Neha Gupta set up her own organisation when she was 9 years old: Empower Orphans. Together with many young volunteers she raised over $1.3 million and touched the lives of over 25,000 children worldwide. She mobilised over a thousand young people in her quest to help those in need and take stand for what they believe in. Neha is an inspiration to children and youth to also become true changemakers.
YCDA focuses on vulnerable children with a strong emphasis on education and child labour. With this project the YCDA will open children clubs in 100 villages, where vulnerable children can develop their talents and learn from each other. 30 children will be selected to learn about children’s rights and become ‘journalists’ to spread their messages on this topic. 500 children will receive training in leadership and communication skills.
KidsRights’ partner Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) has been fighting against child labour in India for 35 years. BBA was founded by Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi. With this project BBA will conduct an in-depth study on child participation within child-friendly villages. Child-friendly villages are villages where children do not work, but go to school and where child participation is taken seriously. To date, BBA has established 350 villages in India. The results of the study will be used for creating training curricula in child participation and changemaking by children in India (through BBA) and internationally (through KidsRights).
The Chaeli Campaign, founded by 2011 Children’s Peace Prize winner Cheali Mycroft, has created several programmes to support children with disabilities and their families in South Africa. With this project The Chaeli Campaign will train young ambassadors between the age of 9 and 14 years old in communication, leadership and networking skills needed to make a positive change in their own communities.
Neha Gupta, winner of the International Children’s Peace Prize 2014 founded Empower Orphans And has recently created The Ambassadors Programme at Penn State University. The Ambassadors Programme brings together students from the university and surrounding schools in a network and engages students in the activities of Empower Orphans