Wednesday, April 19, 2006

U of T student awarded 'children's Nobel' Craig Kielburger cited for leadership of Free the Children

Pictured BelowCraig Kielburger 2006 Children’s Award Winner for
the Rights of the Child, chatting with a young African boy

U of T student and international activist Craig Kielburger has won the 2006 Children’s Prize for the Rights of the Child, often referred to as the children’s Nobel, according to an announcement made today by Free the Children, an organization Kielburger founded when he was 12.

The award recognizes outstanding contributions to the defence of rights for children. Kielburger was cited for his crusade against child poverty and exploitation through Free the Children. Kielburger organized the NGO in 1995 with a group of school friends and it has grown into an international network of more than one million children in 45 countries. Unique in that the group is child-driven, it has built more than 425 schools that educate 35,000 children a day, deployed medical equipment worth $9 million US around the world and given sewing machines and livestock to more than 20,000 women.

“It is my great privilege to accept this award on behalf of all the young people of Free the Children who are committed to creating a better world for their peers,” Kielburger said in a press release.

The award was conferred by an international jury of children including former child soldiers, slaves and refugees and brings with it a $40,000 US prize. It will be presented by Queen Silvia of Sweden in a ceremony Apr. 20. Past recipients include Nelson Mandela and Anne Frank.

Kielburger will graduate this June from Trinity College with a specialist degree in peace and conflict studies. He was also recently awarded the university’s prestigious Moss Scholarship.

by Jenny Hall

Source: University of Toronto

Also See: Free The Children

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