Kesz Valdez

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Kesz Valdez
Born (1998-12-26) December 26, 1998 (age 22)
Imus, Cavite, Philippines
Nationality Philippines
Awards2012 International Children's Peace Prize

Kesz Valdez (born December 26, 1998, Imus, Cavite, Philippines) is a Filipino awardee of the 2012 International Children's Peace Prize in The Hague, Netherlands. He is the first southeast Asian to receive the International Children's Peace Prize and currently the youngest among the finalists nominated for the recognition being 13 at the time.[1][2] [3] The prize also included 100.000 Euro in cash but he left the money to be spent on children projects.[4]

Biography[edit]

At the age of two, people would have found Kesz Valdez picking garbage in Manila’s infamous Captive dumpsite which shows just how unfortunate his life was at such a young age. Valdez was beaten by his father and neglected by his mother up till the age of four years old after they decided not to sell him. In result, he was given a bad reputation and had to provide for himself. Given Valdez's situation at home, he was forced to beg, scavenge, eat garbage for food, and bring back money to support his father’s drug and alcohol addictions. He escaped from his abusive family at four years old and spent his days begging for food on the streets in Manila's poorest slum area. At night, he could be found sleeping on top of open graves or in shop doorways. For over 1 1/2 years, Valdez was a Filipino slum street kid who had no permanent place to live, sleep, or receive food from. He eventually studied on an outreach group called Club 8586 when he got a older. Valdez was taken into care and mentored by Manalaysay after being severely burned falling into a fire. Manalaysay was the mentor of another humanitarian working for street children CNN Hero Efren Peñaflorida.[5] In 2006, Valdez along with his friends founded the Championing Community Children, Kesz's Action</ref>. This is an organization which aims at giving hope and showing the street children they can transform their own lives and inspire others to do so as well. Throughout Valdez's organization, he has helped more than 10,000 children in his community. He was able to inspire and help so many younger kids just through his own life experiences, which shows just how extraordinary he really is.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Pinoy peace prize awardee Kesz Valdez dedicates award to guardian". GMA News. September 25, 2012.
  2. ^ "Young Pinoy peace awardee Kesz Valdez tells world's children: Do not lose hope". GMA News. September 25, 2012.
  3. ^ 2012 – KESZ VALDEZ (13), PHILIPPINES
  4. ^ Pinoy peace prize awardee Kesz Valdez dedicates award to guardian
  5. ^ "Filipino kid wins $130,000 peace prize". Inquirer Global Nation. September 22, 2012.
  6. ^ "Cris "Kesz" Valdez, 13-year-old boy, commended for winning 2012 International Children's Peace Prize". Remate. December 10, 2012.