10 under 10 : Amazing Children Changing the World
Children have bundles of energy, ideas and kindness and can often see things in a way adults don’t see, as they look at the world with fresh eyes. There are loads of ways children can make a real difference in the world, not just when they are grown up, but right now. Here are just a few ways some have made a difference.
Charlie Cooper, Australia
Charlie Cooper was 10 years old when he spent months feeling lonely in the playground and was struggling to make friends. He decided to do something about it and went to speak to his teacher about creating a ‘Buddy Bench’. The idea is, if you don’t have anyone to play with you can sit on the bench and other people around you can then see you would like to play with someone and come and include you. His idea has really taken off across Australia and he has given lots of talks, one of which has been seen by over 100,000 people; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7Z-Hq-xvxM
Lydia Burke, UK
When she was 5 years old, Lydia Port-Burke decided to write, create, and publish (on iTunes) an e-book about Fairies to raise money for the charity Children in Need. Lydia authored all the words in the story and helped work out what the illustrations of the book would be. Lydia then went on to work on a second book, this time collaborating with her 3-year-old friend on the "Fairy Mission Project “
Thandiwe Chama, Zambia
Thandiwe Chama is a young educational rights activist in Zambia, most known for winning the International Children’s Peace Prize 2007 at the age of 16; the first ever given in Zambia. When she was only eight-years-old, her school was closed due to a lack of teachers, so Thandiwe decided to lead 60 other children in walking to find another school. As a result, she and her class mates were taken into nearby Jack Cecup School. To this day, Thandiwe still campaigns for the rights of children to have access to an education.
Jack Henderson, UK
When he was just six, big thinking Jack Henderson decided to get young people to draw pictures in return for a donation to the Sick Kids Hospital in Edinburgh, which was treating Noah, three, for bronchiolitis. His aim was to raise £100, but to date he has managed to raise almost £64,000 for the Sick Kids Friends' Foundation
Om Prakash Gurjar, Rajasthan
At the age of five, Om Prakash was taken away from his parents and for three years he worked in the fields. After he was rescued, Om campaigned for free education in his native Rajasthan. He then helped to set up a network of what is known as, “child friendly villages,” places where children’s rights are respected and child labour is not allowed. He also set up a network that aims to give all children a birth certificate as a way of helping to protect them from exploitation. He also worked to ensure children are given birth certificates. He says such registration is the first step towards enshrining children’s rights, proving their age, and helping to protect them from slavery, trafficking, forced marriage or serving as child soldiers. He was awarded the International Children’s Peace Prize by former South African President FW de Klerk, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.
Fara Shabrina and Farah Amalia , Indonesia
Fara Shabrina and Farah Amalia , Indonesia
Fara Shabrina and Farah Amalia are the founders of an initiative called, “Buku Untuk Mereka,” which means “Books for Them.” In 2011, they successfully collected 1,684 books in only three weeks for impoverished children in Kaimana, West Papua. Soon after, they formed their own non-profit organization called YOUTH! (Young United Through Humanity). The name represents their vision to bring youth together to create a better community, without regard for borders or boundaries. Their main focus is tackling issues such as children’s rights, poverty, and gender equality.
Ryan Hreljac, America
In 1998, at six years old, Ryan Hreljac learned that kids in Africa often had to walk several kilometres each day just to access clean water. Even in Ryan’s limited experience of the world, this seemed wrong. Using money he earned from household chores and funds he raised from speaking publicly at different events about Africa’s clean water issues, Ryan managed to fund the construction of his first well in a Northern Ugandan village in 1999. He didn’t stop there, however, and established Ryan’s Well Foundation, an organisation that so far has helped build over 822 water projects and 1025 latrines, bringing safe water and improved sanitation to over 805,813 people. Ryan is now in his early twenties.
Gabriel 9 and Zachary Su 5, South Taiwan
Gabriel and Zachary are brothers who decided that they wanted to do something to help others. They decided to make hand-made soaps to fundraise for Syrian children and to raise awareness for refugees. Within three weeks, they were able to raise over $400. With this amount, 24 food bags were bought to help the Syrian refugees! They continue to receive orders from people all over Taiwan.
Alliana R, Canada
Alliana has been busy trying all sorts to help others since she was 5. First, she drew pictures of rainbows with the word 'hope' and sold them to friends and family to raise money for a local children's shelter. At 6, she drew more pictures and sold lemonade raising money for the local children's hospital. At 7, she organized her dance group to dedicate their end of year recital to raise money for a little girl with heart trouble. At 8, she read 'I Am Malala,' the story of Malala Yousafzai from Pakistan who was shot on the way home from school because she was standing up for the right for girls to go to school. After her recovery Malala started the Malala Fund so that all children could receive an education in peace. To raise funds for this, Alliana drew a picture of a butterfly, the symbol of hope and change, and sold prints of it through her website and Facebook page.
Riley Hebbard, USA
When Riley Hebbard was 5 years old she was upset to see young children living on a refugee camp in Darfur and could see that they didn’t have any toys to play with. She decided to gather up her toys and send them to the camp and also to ask her friends to do the same. Many people got involved, so that the Riley’s Toy Foundation was born and so far over thousands and thousands of toys have been sent to orphaned children in South Africa. Have a read about it about her at rileystoys.org