A Filipino student is one of the nominees for this year’s International Children’s Peace Prize. The prestigious award giving body awarded by a Nobel Peace Prize winner to a child and made an important contribution to their advocacy rights.
Thirteen year old Kesz Valdez was known for helping those in need of street children through a group called “Caring Children”, in which he putted up when he was seven years old. At age of 2, he grew up being abused and forced to scavenge in the dumpsite. When he reached the age of 3, he sustained burns on his arms and back because of this unruly maltreatment towards him.
He hails from Cavite and was taken under the care of advocate leader and CNN Hero Efren Peñaflorida. According to an interview with ABS-CBN News, he said that he is happy that their efforts to promote children’s rights are being recognized.
He strongly believes that one does not need to reach a certain age or achieve financial success to make a difference on the lives of others.
The other two nominees are from Ghana and India: 15-year-old Amina and 16-year-old Anwara.
Amina founded an organization that defends the rights of children, particularly those related to education, while Anwara has been fighting girl trafficking and early marriage after being forced to do domestic labor.
Their last names were not mentioned by the organizers.
On September 19, Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu will present the International Children’s Peace Prize to one of the three nominees in The Hague, Netherlands.
“The International Children’s Peace Prize is a very important award because it gives children who have made a significant contribution to a more peaceful world easier access to an international platform. Day after day, these three brave nominees fight for the children in their country, sometimes even in dangerous circumstances,” he said in a statement. “Children are the future, but they are not always heard.”
It was launched by Dutch children’s rights organization KidsRights in Rome in 2005, during the Nobel Peace Laureates’ Summit.
There’s an independent expert committee who assesses the candidates, and the winner will get 100,000 euros to be spent on their respective projects connected to his or her area of work.
The winner will also receive financial support for his or her education.