Dominican teen wins international peace prize

Sixteen-year-old Francia Simon from the Dominican Republic won the International Children’s Peace Prize for campaigning for better access to health care and education.

Simon, who lives in a sugar plantation community, won the award for helping 136 children obtain birth certificates, without which it is impossible to access health care and education in the Caribbean nation.

“Without a certificate, you are not a person,” said Simon, who was dressed in the white, red and blue colours of her country.

“You are the flag for thousands of children in the world,” said Guatemalan 1992 Nobel Peace laureate Rigoberta Menchu Tum during the award ceremony.

The International Children’s Peace Prize, awarded by the Dutch foundation KidsRight, includes a donation of 100,000 euros (132,000 dollars) to projects connected with the winner’s activities.

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Photo: Dominican Francia Simon (R) raises her trophy after being awarded, by Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchu Tum (L) of Guatemala, with the International Peace Prize for Children

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