The World of Children Awards program was created to recognize and elevate those selfless individuals who make a difference in the lives of children across the globe, regardless of political, religious or geographical boundaries. These courageous leaders recognize that our children are the world's most important asset, so they have established programs that profoundly support children in need.
The World of Children honors these leaders, and grants them funds to support the proven, high-impact programs they have created. These awards assure that more children's lives will be touched, and changed, forever. Go to www.worldofchildren.org for more information on who we are and how we help children!
Sam Kateu believes that deaf children in Uganda will certainly face a life without hope if they are not educated and able to read and communicate.
Kateu established a school to ensure that deaf children have the full role in society they deserve. The program that started in his home with 8 deaf children in Uganda in 1998 has now developed into the Kavule Parents School for the Deaf boarding school, which houses and educates dozens of deaf children annually.
The school reduces illiteracy among deaf children and empowers them economically, even as they struggle with harsh daily circumstances. Despite the profound difficulties inherent in organizing a sustainable boarding school in rural Uganda, Kateu provides quality education, safe living conditions, adequate nourishment and medical care to children from desperately poor circumstances.
Long before "boomers giving back" became a story, Harry Leibowitz was pioneering a new model of hands-on philanthropy.
Leibowitz grew up in humble beginnings in Brooklyn, New York - throughout World War II and into the early 1950's his family lived in an old bungalow in Coney Island where ten families shared the common bathroom facilities and he began working long hours upon becoming a teenager. Through these experiences, he developed an incredible work ethic and an appreciation for the plight of children born into challenging circumstances.
He went on to enjoy a successful business career, serving in senior executive positions at companies such as Procter & Gamble and ESMARK, and also running his own marketing consultancy. His years of business travels around the world gave him a firsthand taste of the plight of children in developing countries and made a lasting impression.
In 1996, Leibowitz had a vision for World of Children when he was recovering from cancer surgery at age 55. Watching the Pulitzer Prize announcements on TV, he noted that while there was a Pulitzer for art and literature, and a Nobel for the sciences and peace, and an Oscar for films, there were no awards for those who were tirelessly serving children in need.
That realization was a catalyst for him and he subsequently founded World of Children with vital support from Starr Commonwealth. Harry then pledged to dedicate the rest of his life to creating a prestigious awards program, to support social change makers helping children in need around the world.
A decade later, he now devotes all his time to running World of Children - serving as Board Chair and visiting World of Children honorees around the globe along with his wife Kay-Isaacson Leibowitz, a World of Children board member and retired fashion executive who has served at the helm of leading brands such as Banana Republic and Victoria's Secret.
At 13 years old and living in rural Iowa, Talia began empowering her peers to solve real world problems in 2005 when she helped organize fundraising relief efforts by children nationwide for victims of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.Children rallied by Leman ended up raising more than $10 million.
Wanting to do more, Leman then founded RandomKid (www.randomkid.org) a nonprofit organization that through its web site has helped children in 48 states in the U.S. and in 19 countries to develop funding solutions to real world problems. Examples include:helping fund a school for 300 children in Cambodia:helping fund and refurbish a school for 200 children in Slidell, Louisiana; providing an interactive play center serving 500 hospitalized kids in Iowa; and, raising funds to buy water pumps in Africa.
Now 13, Leman is also helping peers develop fundraising strategies for their own social entrepreneurial ventures. Talia Leman received a 2008 World of Children Founder's Youth Award.
Douglas Maclagan was trekking in Nepal when a distraught mother, desperate for help, handed him her dying baby girl. Overcome and inspired, he committed himself completely and selflessly to the children of Nepal.
Together with villagers he recruited to help, he set up his first two Day Care Health Centers in 1995 and saw an immediate drop in the infant mortality rate in the region. His program provides education, healthcare and social opportunities for vulnerable and disadvantaged children in spite of the deep political instability and constant threat of insurgency.
Maclagan has actively sheltered children from beatings, insurgent raids, and recruitment from the Nepalese brothels. He now lives very simply with his family and oversees the organization, which serves more than 40,000 children in need each year. He established Child Welfare Scheme/Nepal in 1997 and now runs highly sustainable programs with 190 physicians, nurses, social workers, educators and support staff.
The future promises more vital services to thousands of disadvantaged children through fourteen new local partners, including the Nepalese government which now recognizes Children Welfare Scheme's achievements.
Only 14 years old, Jessica Markowitz has already traveled to Rwanda three times and has been deeply affected by the tales of genocide she has heard from children in the community. Markowitz takes very seriously the need to give back and has spent countless hours working to establish her organization Richard's Rwanda to ensure Rwandan girls receive the education they deserve in a safe and nurturing environment.
Her trips have allowed her to get to know the girls better and assess their needs. She recently designed a tool kit for girls who are interested in starting their own chapter of Richard's Rwanda in their own communities in the US so that more children in Rwanda can be served. her leadership is empowering other students to take on key roles in supporting and growing Richard's Rwanda, while also allowing her to grow and serve as a kind and passionate role model. World of Children funds will be designated to establish a World of Children Library, so the Rwandan girls they support today can be served for generations to come.
Meghan Pasricha is now studying at Harvard University and started her career as a passionate tobacco control and health advocate at the age of five. She is Founder and President of Global Youth H.E.L.P. (Health Education Leadership Program) Inc. and Founder and President of ATAC, the Anti-Tobacco Action Club, working to educate and protect children from the hazards of tobacco and second and smoke.
By mobilizing 2000 of her peers, and actively speaking out, she played a vital in the passage of the historic 2001 Clean Indoor Air Act, making Delaware only the second state in America to pass a stringent smoking ban. Pasricha's vision is to 'harness the power of youth to create positive change around the world' and will apply all future grants to fund her youth leadership training initiatives in America, India, China and Mexico.
Meghan Pasricha was awarded a 2007 World of Children Founder's Youth Award.
Ashlee learned firsthand how hard it is to be a child who loses everything when she lost her family home to a fire when at the age of six. After her firefighter father battled a Lake Tahoe fire that destroyed more than two hundred homes, Ashlee decided to take action and create Ashlee's Toy Closet.
At just eight years old she established the nonprofit organization, which now collects, distributes and donates toys all over the country to children affected by natural disasters, fires, floods or harsh economic conditions. Smith is highly motivated to attract and distribute donations, and actively partners with local fire departments, police, and ambulances to supply them with stuffed animals for scared or injured children.
She donates stuffed animals to the local Special Kids Rodeo for physically and mentally challenged children, provides local foster families with toys in her Reno, Nevada community, and "adopts" hundreds of children and families during Christmas time. She is now ten years old and has sent toys to thousands of children all over the country and is now branching out internationally as well.
Today she is becoming a well known young leader for actively engaging in what she calls "turning kids' frowns upside down!"