Slum angel from Thailand wins WCPRC’s main prizes

Prateep Ungsongtham Hata from Thailand on April 16 received World’s Children’s Prize and the Global Friends’ Award at Gripsholm Castle in Mariefred, Sweden, where Her Royal Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden helped children award the prizes.
     The World’s Children’s Prize for the Rights of the Child’ (WCPRC) announced on April 12 that Prateep Ungsongtham Hata from Thailand had won the two WCPRC’s main prizes. The prestigious Swedish organization, whose patrons include Queen Silvia and Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson, said on its official website that Prateep won the prizes because she has devoted 35 years of her life to giving the most vulnerable children the chance to go to school.
     Prateep was chosen for the World’s Children’s Prize by an international jury of 13 children who used to be soldiers, debt-slaves, slaves in brothels, refugees, war victims or street children.
     As for the Global Friends’ Award, more than 1.3 million children from 5,000 member schools in 52 countries participated in this year’s poll to select the winner.
     A former child labourer herself, Prateep is called the ‘Slum Angel’ for her long devotion to the Khlong Toei shantytown children. According to Thai newspaper, The Nation, she plans to use her Bt 2.53 million prize money to set up the Asian Children Foundation for needy youths.

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