Young Ukrainians Sofia Tereshchenko, Anastasiia Feskova and Anastasiia Demchenko won the International Children’s Peace Prize on Friday November 17 at Whitehall Palace in London. The 17 and 18 year olds therefore succeed the Japanese Rena Kawasaki who won in 2022.
Created in 2005, the Children’s Peace Prize rewards each year young people keen to “fight against the millions of problems that children encounter around the world” explains KidsRights, the international organization behind this distinction. A project imagined during a meeting of the “world summit of Nobel Peace Prizes”, the association which brings together most of the winners of the prestigious prize.
Honoring young personalities
Each year, the Children’s Peace Prize is awarded by a Nobel Peace Prize laureate. For the 19th edition, it was the Tunisian Wided Bouichamaoui, awarded in 2015, who presented the statuette named Nkosi, taking the first name of the first winner, a 12-year-old South African who has since died of AIDS.
Having become war refugees after the Russian invasion, Anastasiia, Sofia and Anastasiia created two applications to serve refugee children: Refee (for ages 4-11) and Svity (for those over 16). Objectives: to help them integrate into their adopted countries by connecting them with host communities.
The young women win a prize of €100,000. Half will be used to finance their project. The other part will be invested by the KidsRights organization in financing actions related to their area of commitment.
“Don’t let your age stop you”
Since the first edition of the prize, 19 young people from 17 different countries have been rewarded. This year, 140 children and adolescents tried to win the distinction and three reached the final.
The winners were in competition with two other projects. On one side, Aaron Scarth, a 16-year-old English teenager, son of a prisoner and victim of violence and harassment for this reason. Since then, the young man has traveled the country and given conferences to put an end to the stigmatization suffered by children with incarcerated parents.
On the other, Sri Nihal Tammana, a 14-year-old American teenager at the head of the “Recycle My Battery” organization. This association intends to help people “to properly recycle used batteries,” he explained during the ceremony. His project already extends to several countries, including Canada and India. The young American wants the association to be entirely managed by volunteer children and adolescents. “Don’t let your age stop you,” he said.