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Finalists Picked for World Children's Prize


The three finalists for the World’s Children’s Prize for the Rights of the Child were announced Monday. They include the Rwandan orphans organization known as AOCM, a young Canadian man who founded an organization that builds schools in developing countries; and finally, the sister of the Dalai Lama. The winner will be announced April 18th.

Magnus Bergman is executive director of Children’s World, the sponsor of the prize. From Mariefred, Sweden, he spoke to English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua.

“The prize candidates for the World Children’s Prize for the Rights of the Child are nominated by schools, organizations or individuals worldwide. And then the jury deciding about one of the two main awards (second award is Global Friends’ Award) selects the three final candidates,” he says. This year, about three million children worldwide are expected to vote on the candidates to choose a winner.

AOCM is made up of 6,000 orphaned survivors of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, who help each other with food, schooling, housing and healthcare. The second finalist is Craig Kielberger of Canada. In 1995, at age 12, he founded the organization Free the Children, which has since built 400 schools in developing countries, including Kenya and Sierra Leone. The third finalist is Jetsun Pema, sister of the Dalai Lama, who has worked for the rights of Tibetan children for 40 years.

After the announcement of the winner on April 18th, the prize ceremony will be held on April 20th in Gripsolm Castle in Mariefred. Sweden’s Queen Silvia will help present the award and honor all three finalists.

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