Kesz - KidsRights
"Young people have the power to move the world."


Country of origin
The Philippines
Current country
The Netherlands
Kesz is the winner of the International Children’s Peace Prize 2012. He was born on the 26th of December in 1998 in The Philippines. Kesz is committed to the rights of street children and founded his own organization: Championing Community Children.

My name is Kesz and I grew up on the streets in The Philippines. I was 2 years old when my father sent me out to find and sell rubbish so he could buy drugs and alcohol. There was violence at home, so on my 4th birthday, I ran away from home to live in a garbage dump.   

One day, I sustained serious burns on the dump. A social worker took me to the hospital and has been caring for me ever since. Now I know what it is like to have a safe home, to go to school, to have enough to eat and to have nice clothes.   

The initiative 
For my 7th birthday, the first birthday I ever celebrated, I asked for slippers as a gift. Not for myself, but for other street children. I called these gifts ‘Gifts of Hope.’ Every year, I try to hand out more and more gifts, through my organization ‘Championing Community Children.’ We share gifts and raise awareness about children's rights, a healthy diet and hygiene.  

Together we move the world 
KidsRights supports me, as a changemaker, in my struggle for the rights of street children in The Philippines. We teach street children to wash themselves, to brush their teeth and to keep their wounds clean. To create a wide and enduring effect, we train children in the community so they can pass their knowledge on to others.   

My mission 
Together we can change the world, step by step! No matter what your background is, whether you are rich or poor, young or old, everyone can make a difference, as a changemaker! 


Child abuse
Karupuswamy’s parent meetings
What is the problem?  Karupuswamy sees too much emotional and/or physical abuse of children in his community. This are often parents hitting their children, to punish them when for example they have misbehaved. This form of abuse is seen as normal, as a result, no action is being taken against it. Children often don’t understand where the abuse is coming from, which can lead to confusion, insecurity, and stress. It has big consequences on the personal development of the children. What is Karupuswamy’s solution? Karupuswamy wants to educate parents about positive, and child friendly ways of punishing children when they have misbehaved. He also wants to open the discussion about the negative impact of the abuse that is currently used as a punishment. Parents often don’t know any better, their own parents raised them the same way. That is why it is important to show them that it is also possible to raise their children differently. Karupuswamy will organize weekly meetings with parents and their children, to look at the behavior of children and their needs. The other way around, he also wants to look at the behavior of parents and their expectations. In this way parents and children will learn to understand each other, so they can better adapt to each other. Next to that, he wants to organize a lecture for parents, in which they will learn more about positive and child friendly parenting. He wants to be supported with this by professionals, to make sure they can pass on enough knowledge together. What is the goal?  Karupuswamy’s goal will be achieved when parents will understand the negative consequences of violence against children, stop using it, and start raising their children in a more positive way. How does Karupuswamy work?  Karupuswamy is the project leader. He is starting his project by developing teaching material with his friends, like stickers and posters. He is curious about what the responses of the parents will be, as this has been a habit for years. Who does Karupuswamy need?   Young people that have the same opinion about violence against children as he does. Help of the local children’s rights organizations. Professionals that voluntarily want to help with passing on their knowledge. What does he need? A printer to print the teaching material.
Child marriage
What is the problem?  Child marriage and teen pregnancy are a big problem in Benedict’s region, especially in the rural areas. Which means girls don’t have a say in their own future. All too often, they end up in a violent marriage and become pregnant at a young age.    Benedict decided to take action! Because girls deserve a chance to develop themselves through education too. It’s their right!      What is Benedict's solution?   Child marriage and teen pregnancy are common in Benedict’s community. People don’t know about the harm they cause. That’s why Benedict wants to teach them about it. But how?  Local leaders are very influential within the village; everyone will listen to them. If these leaders understand the negative consequences of child marriage and teen pregnancy, they will be able to spread the message in the community.    Benedict wants to reach them by organizing a meeting for these religious leaders, such as pastors and imams. So that his message can be taken back by them in the religious meetings that they organize.   In addition, Benedict will talk to people on the streets to raise awareness among the population, by addressing and talking to them about child marriage and teenage pregnancies.  What is his goal? Benedict’s goal is to reduce child marriage and teen pregnancy in his area. He wants to live in an environment where children are safe and their rights are respected.   How does Benedict work? method  Benedict is working with a local organization. They help him prepare his meeting. He also wants to start a project team with other local children. They will prepare, give and evaluate the meeting. Benedict makes sure that everything goes according to plan and that KidsRights receives regular rapports. 300 random local leaders and youths are chosen to attend the meeting.    Who does Benedict need?    The local organization cooperating with Benedict   Children who want to help with the meeting  What does he need?    Laptop + phone to take pictures Internet to stay in contact with KidsRights  A writing surface to use during the meeting  Projector for the PowerPoint presentation   Information and communication material for the meeting  Banners to announce the meeting  Pen and paper   An office space   Water, food and soft drinks for the meeting.  
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.
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