13-year-old Filipino gets peace prize

Sept. 20, 2012 at 8:29 AM

THE HAGUE, Netherlands, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- A 13-year-old boy who has tried to improve the lives of street kids in the Philippines was awarded the International Children's Peace Prize, officials said.

The boy, who goes only by the name Kesz, was himself living on the streets, severely abused and scavenging dump sites at the age of two. He was burned so badly he ran away to look for help three years later, a release from the International Children's Peace Prize said.

Kesz began the Gifts of Hope organization when he was 7 years old, teaching underprivileged children about health.

"My message to all children around the globe is our health is our wealth! Being healthy will enable you to play, to think clearly, to get up and go to school and love the people around you in so many ways. To everyone in the world, please remember that every day, 6,000 children die from diseases associated with poor sanitation, poor hygiene, and we can do something about it! Please join me in helping street children achieve better health and better lives," he said.

Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu presented Kesz with his award at a ceremony in The Hague, Netherlands, the release said.

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