The Children of the Earth Prize for 2018 has been awarded to the Norwegian-Philippine Sea and Sun Ministries International foundation and its work for poor children in the Philippines. The prize of 150 000 Norwegian crowns (NOK), equivalent to about 15 500 euros or 19 000 US dollars, was presented during a public ceremony at North Cape on June 7th. Some 500 students from local schools on Magerøya island, where North Cape is located, were among the attendees.
Sea and Sun Ministries International was established in 2001. From the very start, its activities have been directed by Wenche Thorkildsen and Edith Villamor, two very dedicated women from Norway and the Philippines. Both had acquired substantial experience from international humanitarian work prior to the start of Sea and Sun. Along with local helpers, they work hard to improve young people’s health and quality of life, give them education, social safety and a way out of poverty. The foundation is active in the island province of Camiguin in the southern part of the Philippines.
The foundation provides substantial support to almost 1500 students in 14 children’s schools on the island of Camiguin, and has also developed projects for children below school age. In addition, Sea and Sun has built a health center, renovated the children’s ward at a local hospital and supplied medical equipment as gifts from health institutions in Norway. Sea and Sun even arranges summer camps for many children on the island, giving the participants positive experiences with play, fun and a sense of belonging and unity.
Sea and Sun has established a network of supporters both in Norway and locally, and recently received praise for its efforts from the province governor of Camiguin.
The award from North Cape will contribute to new projects like PCs for school work, gatherings for mothers with small children, refurbishing of local day care centers and purchase of educational toys to them – as well as collection of more medical equipment from hospitals in Norway.
The annual Children of the Earth Prize is awarded by the Children of the Earth Foundation, founded at North Cape on initiative by the well-known author Simon Flem Devold. The prize and an accompanying bronze statuette goes to an individual or a group of people that over time makes a convincing effort to improve the adolescence and living conditions of destitute children anywhere in the world.
This year, the prize was awarded for the 30th time. The prize winners were accompanied to North Cape by two 16 year old Philippino girls - Joileen Grace Escolano ("Joy") and Jeshyl Faith Uy ("Kim") - who both receive care and education through Sea and Sun Ministries. They performed during the ceremony, and became very popular among the young audience from the schools on Magerøya island.
You will find more information about the current prize winner and the Children of the Earth Foundation on the following Facebook addresses:
https://facebook.com/seaandsunministries and https://facebook.com/barnavjorden