Kehkashan - KidsRights
"Time is running out: we must do something now, otherwise polar bears will live under palm trees soon"


Country of origin
The United Arab Emirates
Current country
Kehkashan Basu won the International Children's Peace Prize in 2016. She was born on the 5th of June - World Environment Day - in the United Arab Emirates and now lives in Canada. Kehkashan is committed to the protection of the environment and a sustainable future. The organization she founded is called Green Hope.

My name is Kehkashan and I fight for the protection of the environment. I have always been fond of nature, it is in  fact my passion. The first thing that really hit me was the picture of a bird that had swallowed plastic. It made me realize I had to do something to make sure children  grow up in a clean environment. Environmental  deterioration poses a serious threat to all children. The ongoing change of the climate has a great influence on all of us. It is very  disturbing. We must therefore act now!  

The initiative 
I was 8 when I planted my first tree, my first action! With great enthusiasm and determination, I managed to get children and neighbours involved.  My dream got larger. The founding of Green Hope was the start of a green movement for children who want to save our earth. Every week more children join. Together we plant trees, recycle waste, organize educational outings and clean up beaches. 

Together we move the world 
KidsRights supports me as a changemaker in my fight for the protection of the environment. Meanwhile, Green Hope has become a global organization with thousands of young members. Awareness is the key to change, and so I organize conferences where children learn how to  protect the environment.  

My mission 
It is up to the youth to take the lead and make climate change slow down. Children can bring about change. My mission is to unite as many children as possible to fight for a sustainable future. Regardless of your age,  you can make a difference. Children are the future. I'm sure we, as real changemakers, can move the world. 


YOCEL: against violence in Liberia
Liberian Abraham M. Keita, better known as Keita, is the International Children's Peace Prize Winner of 2015. He fights for justice for children who have been victims of (sexual) violence. This is too common in Liberia; Keita has even seen it happening in his neighborhood.  Read more about Keita's courageous battle  To support Keita in his fight, we searched for local project partners with the same goal. This resulted in a long-term collaboration with project partner YOCEL, an organization that works against violence against children in Liberia.
What is the problem?  Maxwell notices that few people around him know what the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) are. The SDGs have been drawn up by the United Nations with the aim to bring an end to poverty, inequality and climate change by 2030. The SDGs are meant to make the world nicer, fairer and cleaner. In Maxwell’s community, education is qualitatively poor and little attention is being paid to the environment. He wants to do something about this and therefore he is taking action. What is Maxwell’s solution? With his project Kids4SDGs, Maxwell wants to focus on the improvement of knowledge about the SDGs among children between the age of 6 and 19 years old. He is aiming at education and environment. In this way he wants to motivate children to take action on these two themes. Maxwell will start with giving weekly information sessions about SDGs (aimed at environment and education) at two schools in his neighbourhood. He will, amongst other subjects, talk about how one can become a changemaker and how important it is to stand up for your own community. During these sessions the students will also learn writing and presentation skills. After that they will plant trees with the participants to make the world a greener place. At the same time a social media campaign will be launched to send his message to a wider audience. What is the goal?  The aim is to encourage children to become changemakers for the two SDG themes: education and environment or other themes which the children are interested in.  “ The world is ours, if we don’t do everything in our power to make it a better place, we would have failed not only ourselves but future generations as well.” – Maxwell How will Maxwell work?  Maxwell will arrange with two schools where the weekly information sessions can take place. He will draw up the content of the information sessions and he will make sure that this will be carried out correctly by his team. He will also be in charge of the social media campaign. W ho does Maxwell need?   ·       Maxwell is working with two different organizations. Colleagues from both organizations will help him with his project. ·       His 20 young volunteers who are helping by giving the information sessions. ·       KidsRights to connect him with other changemakers globally. What does Maxwell need?   ·       Ideas, successes and challenges from other changemakers.
Divina's Peace Workshops
What’s the problem? Divina is worried by the rise of violent extremism within her country. Violent extremist groups have destroyed a great number of lives. They have also devastated farmlands, which caused famine in the society, as well as demolished schools, causing the interruption of education for a lot of children. Divina noticed that more and more children are getting involved in these armed groups and are recruited as child soldiers. She wants to do something against it and decided to take action. What is Divina’s solution? Divina wants to end the recruiting of children in extremist armed groups. Her plan is to achieve this by raising awareness in children of what participation within these groups means for them, and what the consequences are. Divina will organize two workshops that will focus on two important rights: the right to education and the right to security. In this way she will create awareness about combating violence, extremist groups and its consequences. She also printed cartoons on t-shirts to strengthen her message. The participants can keep the t-shirts, in order to spread the message in their surroundings. Divina designed this cartoon during an earlier project. What is Divina’s goal? Divina’s goal is to discourage children to become members in terrorist groups. She wishes to influence children, that perhaps are already part of these armed groups, to leave them. Also, she hopes that children living in communities that encourage children to become soldiers will stand up for the cause and reject that culture. As a consequence, she wishes to see the rate of violent extremism decrease, and see more children engaged in peace building processes. How does Divina work? Divina will work together with Children for Peace, a group created by herself which is fighting against violence. She is also looking for collaborations with other youth organizations. Divinia will use surveys to measure the impact of her project. She will also try to distribute as many photos and videos of the workshop and cartoon as possible, to reach even more people. What does Davina need? T-shirts to spread her message through the cartoons printed on it Refreshments for the workshops Posters to spread the message Children engaging in her project Adults encouraging their children to participate in her project Mosques where the workshops will be held Who does she need? The members of the Children for Peace team, as they will be the ones leading the workshops
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