11 Mar AN EXTRA-ORDINARY TEENER WITH AN EXTRA-ORDINARY MISSION IN LIFE
“The fire that burned my skin and flesh is the same fire that started a flame in my soul.”
These were the words of Cris “Kesz” Valdez, the extra-ordinary teener from the province of Cavite in Southern Luzon who put up a charity organization at the age of eight years to help children in poverty-stricken areas.
Kesz was a victim of maltreatment by his own parents. He ran away at a very young age and managed to survive by scavenging and stealing until the life-changing incident when he was accidentally pushed into a pile of burning garbage. A community worker named Mr. Harnin Manalaysay helped him to recover from his injuries.
Kesz soon healed and eventually began volunteering to help street children in his small ways—giving out simple “gifts of hope” as he calls it; teaching basic hygiene, and educating about children’s rights.
Kesz was awarded in 2012 the International Children’s Peace Prize for helping more than 10,000 street children through the organization he founded—Championing Community Children. Learn more directly from him as he talks about his life in this video taken during SEAMEO INNOTECH’s 13th International Conference.