Editor's Note: This event will be livestreamed on Black Radio Network Beginning tomorrow at 9am EDT
NEW YORK, – Six changemakers who have dramatically improved children’s lives will be showcased tomorrow when they are honored by the World of Children Awards, the only global recognition and funding non-profit that recognizes individuals who are changing the lives of children around the world.
The extraordinary individuals who have pioneered life-changing programs to benefit children each will be honored with the award that’s been recently hailed in the press as the “Nobel Prize® for Children” – an annual honor that includes a cash grant of up to $50,000 for the honoree’s program. The 2010 World of Children Award winners will be honored at the 13th annual World of Children Awards ceremony on Thursday, November 4, at UNICEF House in New York City.
“The World of Children Awards program is proud to support these exemplary individuals for their tremendous efforts to improve the lives of children in the U.S. and abroad,” said Harry Leibowitz, the World of Children Awards’ co-founder and co-chairman.
For over a dozen years, the World of Children Awards has identified and vetted some of the most promising child advocates worldwide and provided funding for their efforts to improve children’s lives. The organization’s exhaustive research and vetting of individuals spearheading health and humanitarian initiatives across the global spectrum has been hailed by leading philanthropic organizations.
“This year’s World of Children Awards honorees are an inspiring reminder of the extraordinary difference one person can make in the lives of others,” noted actress Stephanie March, World of Children Awards’ Celebrity Ambassador, “The nonprofit programs they have pioneered on behalf of the world’s most vulnerable children is an incredible testament to the power of good ideas and selfless dedication to serving others.”
The World of Children Awards is led by co-founders Harry Leibowitz and Kay Isaacson-Leibowitz, retired senior executives from Procter & Gamble and Victoria’s Secret, whose dream is to bestow a Nobel Prize®-like award to honor individuals who dramatically improve vulnerable children’s lives. Since 1998, the World of Children Awards has shared more than $4 million in cash grants and program support with 84 changemakers working in more than 50 countries.
The 2010 World of Children Awards Winners are:
2010 Health Award Winner: Adi Roche, Chernobyl Children International (CCI) (Belarus, Ukraine and Western Russia)
After the devastating 1986 Chernobyl disaster, Adi Roche, received a desperate appeal via fax from Belarusian and Ukrainian doctors which said, “SOS appeal. For god’s sake, help us to get the children out.” Since then, Adi has dedicated her life to the forgotten children of the Chernobyl region. In 1991 she established the Chernobyl Children International (CCI), which works tirelessly to offer hope to the thousands of children in the Chernobyl regions who continue to be born with disabilities and congenital deformities like Chernobyl Heart. Volunteer doctors and nursing teams perform life-saving surgeries for child victims throughout the Chernobyl regions. Over 20,000 children have received intensive medical care and the opportunity to recuperate while thousands more have been treated. Adi plans to use World of Children Awards’ support to fund life-saving surgeries on children in Belarus and Ukraine and the training and development of local surgeons so CCI continues to be sustainable well into the future.
2010 Humanitarian Award: Leonor Portela, Misioneros Del Camino (Sumpango, Guatemala)
In 1961, Leonor Portela was widowed with a six month old son when her husband’s military airplane crashed into the ocean. In 1976, she traveled from Miami to Guatemala to care for victims of a devastating earthquake that left 23,000 people dead and 100,000 injured. Since then, Leonor has been on a mission to care for the orphaned, abandoned, and malnourished children of Guatemala. Every day for the last 24 years, Leonor has rescued children from the streets and from garbage dumps, and saved the “throw away children” brought to her by the Guatemalan police. In 1986, she founded her organization, Misioneros Del Camino, which has now given more than 2,200 orphans a safe home, an education, medical treatment and hope for a better future. She has also dramatically improved the lives of more 42,000 vulnerable children through nutritional programs, health care and education. Leonor plans to use World of Children Awards funds to serve a long waiting list of children in need of help.
2010 Founder’s Youth Award: Jourdan Urbach (Roslyn, New York)
Juilliard Pre-college violin virtuoso Jourdan Urbach discovered when he was performing in hospitals at seven years old that music could stimulate the brain and spark healing in children with neurological problems. After seeing a previously unresponsive child react to his music, Jourdan decided to dedicate his life to sharing the powerful symbiotic relationship between medicine and music to help heal. At just nine years old, as founder and executive director of Children Helping Children, he began headlining with symphony orchestras to perform benefit Concerts for a Cure at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall and at major concert halls across the country to raise money for children needing neurosurgical and neurological care. Now an 18-year-old Yale University sophomore, Jourdan continues to pursue humanitarian and philanthropic endeavors, enabling his nonprofit to generate millions for neurological research and pediatric hospital programs. Jourdan will use World of Children Awards funds to strengthen his organization, create groundbreaking pediatric hospital programs in music therapy and pain management, and expand the performances internationally so as to benefit more children in need.
2010 Founder’s Youth Award: Danielle Gram, Kids for Peace (Carlsbad, CA)
At age 16, Danielle Gram founded Kids for Peace, a nonprofit organization which provides opportunities for children of all ages and backgrounds to learn about other cultures and be service-oriented leaders, peace builders and environmental activists in their communities. When Danielle began Kids for Peace in 2006, she never imagined that her only brother would become a murder victim. This tragic loss motivated Danielle to approach her mission of peace-building with a new sense of conviction and urgency. Since 2006, Kids for Peace has grown to have more than 75 chapters worldwide – positively impacting children’s lives throughout the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. Danielle will use the World of Children Awards funds to strengthen Kids for Peace's capacity to meet increasing demand for their programs worldwide. Danielle’s vision is to establish Kids for Peace chapters where non-violence and positive reinforcement education is most needed so that even the most disadvantaged children become empowered to cultivate peace for themselves, their families, and their communities.
2010 Advocacy Award – Dan Marino and Claire Merino
World of Children’s Board of Governors will also bestow a non-monetary 2010 Advocacy Award to Dan and Claire Marino for their extraordinary efforts to improve children’s health through the Dan Marino Foundation, which supports medical research, treatment, and outreach programs for autistic children and children with developmental disabilities. Since its founding in 1992, the Foundation has raised over $22 million dollars to provide programs and services that have benefited hundreds of thousands of children and their families.
ABOUT THE WORLD OF CHILDREN AWARDS
The World of Children Awards (www.worldofchildren.org) is the only global recognition and funding program for people specifically and exclusively serving the needs of children. Now a 13-year-old philanthropy dedicated to identifying and leveraging the efforts of those working on the ground to improve children’s lives, the World of Children Awards have recognized some of the most promising child advocates worldwide and provided funding and visibility for their efforts.
Hailed recently by the media as the “Nobel Prize© for Children,” the World of Children Awards program sets the gold standard for child advocates, recognizing only the finest life-changing programs serving vulnerable children. The World of Children Awards employs a world-class research, review, vetting and selection process led by a committee of independent experts and professionals to find those individuals who are pioneering life-changing programs to benefit children. Then World of Children Awards invests, through cash grants, in those individuals with a demonstrated track record of success, honors them at an annual awards ceremony in New York City and helps them leverage their World of Children Awards recognition to raise additional funds and generate visibility and strategic partnerships for their programs.
Leading philanthropies praise this organization’s extensive worldwide research and vetting of extraordinary individuals who are spearheading health and humanitarian programs. The World of Children Awards have awarded more than $4 million in cash grants and program support to assist 84 changemakers for children working in over 50 countries.
The World of Children Awards are:
* The only global recognition and funding program dedicated exclusively to recognizing changemakers for children around the globe.
* Awarding millions to social entrepreneurs whose life-changing work ranges from rescuing child soldiers in Uganda, to providing life-saving care for orphans in Ethiopia, to bringing education to children living in Brazil's shantytowns.
* Featured in Kenneth Cole’s giving-back book, AWEARNESS: Inspiring Stories About How to Make a Difference, and in Nicholas Kristof’s Sunday New York Times column.
* Attracting fashion luminaries to support its cause, including Kenneth Cole and the current and former CEOs of Bergdorf Goodman, Victoria’s Secret and Loehmann's.
* Founded by a remarkable boomer couple, Harry Leibowitz and Kay Isaacson Leibowitz, who have dedicated their “encore careers” to creating and investing in a global network of social changemakers for children.