Saturday, November 3, 2012

Street Kid Wins International Peace Prize

Chris Valdez, age 13, wins this year's International Children's Peace Prize Award for leading a nonprofit organization that helps street children, like himself, educate and hand out basic necessities.

With the help and mentoring of Mr. Harnin Manalaysay, head of a local Christian youth group, Chris has helped over 10,000 kids in his hometown of Cavite for the past six years.
In one of Valdez' speeches, during one of his weekend outreach programmes, Chris said that he's just trying to pay back the kindness that was given to him.

I help because I see myself in children who roam and live on the streets

Chris Valdez or "Kesz" is the founder of the "Championing Community Children", a not-for-profit organization that hands out "Hope Gifts". "Hope Gifts" are packages that have basic necessities such as slippers, soap, toothpastes and toothbrushes and toys.

Kesz was 4 years old when he was rescued by Mr. Manalaysay. He had been living on the streets and was scavenging dumpsites and stealing from other people just to have something to eat. Manalaysay enrolled Valdez to school and started to make progress. chris also volunteered to teach other street children about hygiene and it's importance. On Chris' seventh birthday, he wished for other kids to have what he was given.

I told him I wanted other children to receive what I had: rubber slippers, toys and candies

Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu awarded this year's Peace Prize at a ceremony in Netherland last September. He stated that Chris is an inspiration and a "voice for the voiceless"

Mabuhay Kesz!

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