Tibetan Children's Villages

Tashi, a 12 year old Tibetan child at one of the Tibetan Children’s Villages, with her classmates. Tashi is attending school for the first time in her life. (Kim Naylor)

The President of Tibetan Children’s Villages, Mrs. Jetsun Pema, is among the three nominees for this year’s World’s Children’s Prize for the Rights of the Child (WCPRC), the organizing group, Children?s World announced.

The announcement said, “Jetsun Pema has been nominated for WCPRC 2006 for her 40-year struggle for the Tibetan refugee children in India. Her tireless work has saved lives and given tens of thousands of Tibetan refugee children a home, a family, education and hope for the future. Pema always puts the children’s interests first and has built up Tibetan Children’s Villages (TCV) into the exiled Tibetans’ largest children’s rights and educational organisation. Every year, nearly 15,000 refugee children get help through TCV. In the Tibetan children?s villages the children grow up in a loving Tibetan home with traditional Buddhist values like non-violence and respect for all life.”

The World’s Children’s Prize for the Rights of the Child (WCPRC) is “a unique global empowerment program for children and young people, which implements the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and empowers children all over the world so that they can have a say and demand respect for their rights.” The award recognizes the outstanding contributions of those who defend youth rights.

The WCPRC was founded by the Swedish organization, Children’s World, and is open to all schools and organizations all over the world.

Jetsun Pema is the youngest sister of the Dalai Lama. She was educated in India and Europe and has been working in the field of education of Tibetan refugee children for the last four decades. The other nominees are the Rwanda-based Orphans’ Organization, aiding children orphaned during the country’s civil war in 1994, and Canadian Craig Kielurger, founder and head of Free the Children, an organization facilitating school building and education for children worldwide.

The World’s Children’s Prize is decided by a jury of children who are elected on the basis of their merits and their own experiences and more or less represent all the world?s continents and main religions. This year’s jury includes children from Brazil, Pakistan, Colombia, Nepal, Senegal, Vietnam, West Sahara, Israel, Mozambique, Uganda, The Czech Republic, South Africa, USA, and Palestine.

The winners will be announced in Stockholm on April 18, 2006. More information on the Tibetan Children’s Villages can be found at http://www.tcv.org.in. More information about the prize is available at http://www.childrensworld.org.