And I was there!
With tears in my eyes…
No, I was not emotional because I was aloud to be in De Ridderzaal, The Hall of Knights (It is very rare that the Ridderzaal is opened to the public.) , where our Queen gave her annual speech to the government just a day before, but because of all the energy and positive vibes and amazing people…
Check this clip, so you understand my emotions:
A young Filipino boy who lived off a rubbish dump and slept in an open tomb has won a prestigious children’s award in the Netherlands for his work to improve the rights of his fellow street kids. Cris “Kesz” Valdez, aged 13, was handed this year’s International Children’s Peace Prize at a glittering ceremony in The Hague on Wednesday, where he received a 100,000 euro prize.
Valdez was chosen from three finalists for the work of his “Championing Community Children” charity which raises funds to hand out gift parcels to needy children in Cavite City, about 30 kilometres (18 miles) south of the capital Manila.
“You are wonderful,” Nobel Peace laureate Desmond Tutu, who handed over this year’s prize, told Valdez at a press conference shortly after the ceremony, held in The Hague’s historic Knight’s Hall.
“My message to children around the world is not to lose hope” and to remember things like hygiene, said Valdez, who added that the prize would help him get an education and perhaps realise his dream of becoming a doctor. Through his charity, Valdez has handed out more than 5,000 gifts to destitute children that included everyday articles like flip-flops, toys, sweets and clothes, said the KidsRights Foundation, the prize’s initiator.In all, he has helped some 10,000 children in his area on health, hygiene and children’s rights, the foundation added. Some 246,000 street children are, like Valdez was as a young child, subjected to abuse, violence and child labour in the Philippines, it said. Lifting the heavy golden trophy of what looked like a kid pushing the world, Valdez offered the award to the Philippines, saying he is representing the Philippines and that the award is for all the street children
Asked about the prize money, KidsRights Foundation chairman Marc Dullaert said a committee was now to decide, together with Valdez, to which projects it would be donated.
Archbishop Tutu, the South African peace icon who won the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize, is in the Netherlands for a nine-day visit.
And as tribute to the Filipino winner, the song “Anak” by Freddie Aguilar was sung in a theatrical dramatic style with an intro of drum players marching on the center of the aisle then joined at the center of the stage by the members of the Dutch National Orchestra and sung by Dutch Filipina musical artist Cystine Carreon.
EDIT 28-06-2013: Kidsrights read this blogpost and explained me that Kesz did not win the money himself, but Kidsrights will spend the money on causes that Kesz commits himself to.