Cambodian activist Phymean Noun wins Child Prize

2015-10-14 17:34
Phymean Noun, of Cambodia, receives the 2015 World's Children Prize for the Rights of the Child during an award ceremony at Gripsholm Castle in Mariefred, western Stockholm.  (Maja Suslin, TT Nes Agency AFP)

Phymean Noun, of Cambodia, receives the 2015 World's Children Prize for the Rights of the Child during an award ceremony at Gripsholm Castle in Mariefred, western Stockholm. (Maja Suslin, TT Nes Agency AFP)

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Stockholm - A Cambodian activist who has championed the rights of poor children to get an education was Wednesday named winner of the World's Children's Prize, sometimes called the Children's Nobel Prize.

Phymean Noun was selected after a vote among close to 2 million school children across the world, organizers said.

She has for 13 years worked to help "children living in extreme poverty" and set up schools after seeing children scavenge at garbage dumps around the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh.

As winner, Phymean Noun receives $50 000. Her foundation, People Improvement Organisation, said it helps about 1 200 children a day and offers vocational training and runs outreach centres.

Two honorary award winners were each to receive $25 000:  Javier Stauring of the United States was cited for his legal work to help juveniles in prison, while the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize co-laureate Kailash Satyarthi of India was credited for his work against child slavery.

Last year, Satyarthi's co-laureate, teen education activist Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan, won the World's Children's Prize and used her prize money to rebuild schools in Gaza. 

The award was established in 2000 by the Swedish non-governmental organization Children's World.

Patrons of the prize include Sweden's Queen Silvia, who was to present the prize Wednesday, as well as Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar, Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, and the late South African president Nelson Mandela's widow, Graça Machel.

Read more on:    cambodia

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