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Cris “Kesz” Valdez, 13 year old boy, commended for winning 2012 International Children’s Peace Prize
A LAWMAKER has filed a resolution commending Cris “Kesz” Valdez for winning the prestigious 2012 International Children’s Peace Prize at the Ridderzaal in The Hague, Netherlands.
Rep. Lani Mercado-Revilla (2nd District, Cavite), author of House Resolution 2877, said the International Children’s Peace Prize is an award presented every year by a Nobel Peace Prize laureate to an exceptional child, whose courageous or otherwise remarkable acts and thoughts have made a difference in countering problems which affect citizens around the world.
The award was presented to Valdez by 1984 Nobel Peace laureate Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa on September 19, 2012 at the Ridderzaal in The Hague, Netherlands.
Mercado-Revilla said Valdez got the award for his tireless efforts to improve the plight of street children in the Philippines, where there are more than 246,000 street children suffering from abuse, violence and major health issues.
“Out of three nominated children for the International Children’s Peace Prize for this year, the Kids Right Foundation Expert Committee chose Cris “Kesz” Valdez as the winner because of his significant contributions in advocating children’s rights and improving the situation of vulnerable children,” Mercado-Revilla said.
“Kesz, who was a former street child who scavenged at the dumpsite at the age of two to augment his family’s income, was forced to run away from home and seek medical help for his burn injuries,” Mercado-Revilla said.
Valdez, together with his guardian Harnin Manalaysay, founded the Championing Community Children, an organization which aims at giving hope and showing the street children they can transform their own lives and inspire others to do so as well.
“On his seventh birthday, Kesz started his advocacy for street children when he gave packages beautifully wrapped containing hygiene products, slippers, clothing and toys called Hope Gifts,” Mercado-Revilla said.
“Every week, Kesz and his friends go to underprivileged communities to teach children about hygiene, food and children’s rights,” Mercado-Revilla said.
Mercado-Revilla said Valdez taught the children how to wash hands properly, brush their teeth daily and bathe regularly.
“Valdez has so far helped more than 10,000 children in his community,” Mercado-Revilla said.