Who will win the International Children’s Peace Prize 2024?
The new year may have barely begun but its’ already time to think about the nominations for this year’s 20th International Children’s Peace Prize.
It is awarded annually to a child or young person who has shown exceptional dedication and courage in fighting for children’s rights.
Launched by the KidsRights charity in 2005 during the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, it is now firmly established as one of the world’s most prestigious youth awards. The winner(s) receive a project fund award of €100.000 (EUROS), which is invested by KidsRights in relevant children’s rights projects that are closely connected to the winner’s area of work, plus a study fund and statuette.
Sofiia Tereshchenko, Anastasiia Feskova and Anastasiia Demchenko were working together on a project to develop a mobile app when the country was invaded by Russia in 2022. Aged just 16 and 17 at the time, the girls were truly shocked by the stories of other children being forced to cross the border to other countries and become a refugee without any parent to rely on.
They immediately shifted the focus of their mobile app project, to build a solution that supported refugee children in need while fleeing Ukraine themselves to the USA, UK and Japan, where under very difficult circumstances they managed to build two apps that are now operational.
‘Truly shocked by stories of other children’
‘Refee’ is for 4-11 year olds, and is intended to help them find all the information they need when they arrive in a new country. This includes first steps, as well as communication advice so they can access basic needs such as safety, food and shelter. The second, ‘SVITY’, targets those aged 16 and above, and who are struggling to integrate in their new country. It facilitates conversations between refugee children and those from host communities. Both apps are available to download from the various online app stores.
Marc Dullaert, Founder and Chair of the KidsRights Foundation said: “Currently, nearly 10 million unaccompanied child refugees are trying to find safety. The amazing initiative of the young Ukrainian International Children’s Peace Prize winners provides an essential need, but it also exposes an embarrassing problem and urges governments to protect child refugees around the world.”
Other former winners include Vihan Agarwal, and his brother Nav, who were recognised in 2021 for developing the One Step Greener programme in India. Their project involved segregating rubbish and organising waste pick-up events across Delhi, one of India’s largest urban centres, and now includes more than 1,000 homes, schools and offices.