The Children of the Earth Prize for 2013 was awarded to Richard Kiwanuka for his many projects for disadvantaged children in Uganda and integration of immigrant children in Norway.
Richard Kiwanuka (34) from Uganda and Bergen (above, right, with his good friend, pro-boxer Cecilia Brækhus) received the prize of 150.000 Norwegian kroner during a ceremony at North Cape on June 5th. About 500 school children from local villages took part in the program.
Background: As a child in Uganda, Richard Kiwanuka was hard hit by the civil war in the wake of dictator Idi Amin's reign of terror in the 1970s. Richard's mother, father and sister, along with other members of his family, were tortured and killed. He himself was kidnapped in order to become a child soldier, but managed to escape. Richard came to Norway (Bergen) as a UN refugee in 1995. At that time he was 15 years old and totally alone in the world.
In Bergen, he went to school, became an active athlete (boxing), and later started a family with his Norwegian wife.
Uganda: All along, he organized projects to help orphaned, misused and destitute children in the slums of Uganda's capital Kampala. His ability and drive gained him support from many Norwegians, and he has established well managed children's homes, child schools, a vocational school and secured food and health assistance to several hundred children who would otherwise have met a totally different destiny in Uganda.
Norway: As an active athlete, Richard experienced how sports help unite young people of all backgrounds, regardless og language and religion. He has used sports to bring children from isolated immigrant environments in Bergen - girls in particular - into the mainstream of Norwegian society. His activities have included courses where so far more than 600 children have learned how to swim.
Awards: In 2010, Richard Kiwanuka was honored with the Norwegian government's Role modell of the year award. In 2011 he won the city of Bergen's Equality prize, and in 2013 he was chosen for The Children of the Earth Prize for his remarkable and continuing achievements in both Uganda and Norway.
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