The Changemaker Program supports changemaking activities of young talent to ensure a better future for children’s rights! The program is intended for everyone between 12 and 24 years that wants to contribute to a lasting change for children’s rights in their communities and beyond. Support these changemakers and contribute to the KidsRights Changemakers Program. Together we can move the world!
One of these changemakers is Leilua, finalist of the International Children's Peace Prize 2018. Leilua, a remarkably strong and resilient girl of 18, lives in Samoa. She was raped by her father at the age of 9. After three years Leilua confided in her friend, who convinced Leilua to seek help. The Samoa Victim Support Group (SVSG) eventually was able to rescue her and bring her to their shelter.
Leilua’s brave decision to stand up against her father in court is an example of hope for many children in the same situation and who are afraid to speak out. As a result of Leilua’s court case her father was sentenced to 29 years in prison. Leilua’s story is unfortunately not a stand-alone case. In 2016 the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) has expressed its concerns on the high levels of abuse, domestic violence, incest and significant underreporting due to fear of stigma, in Samoa. With her actions Leilua wants to convey the message that “if I can do it, you can too.”
Leilua created her own Peace Garden as a way of coping with the anger and anxiety she felt. She planted various plants and trees and created her own space of stillness and serenity, that helped her find peace. What started out as Leilua’s personal healing process is now used by SVSG to help other children recover from trauma too. So far, more than 200 children have already found solace in the garden. And Leilua is a big part of it. She goes to the garden every day, to maintain it and to speak to the children about her journey and the importance of finding inner peace.
Leilua’s courage has enabled her to speak out about her past not only at the shelter, but also in schools and communities across Samoa. More than 3000 children have been inspired by her story and more than 100 children came forward to report abuse.
“Why should I turn against the whole world because of what I have lost? I am now at peace, and I share the gift of peace with the abused children of Samoa, by being their voice.”
Together we can achieve more. Share the stories of our changemakers and spread the word!
Become a changemaker yourself! Join our Changemakers Movement. Sign up and receive inspiration, tips and updates from the Movement.
Contribute to the goals of other changemakers and support them financially. That too is changemaking! .