Michaela Mycroft received first Medal for Social Activism presented to her by former president F.W. de Klerk during the 12th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Chicago
Yesterday April 24th, 17 year old Michaela Mycroft, winner of the International Children’s Peace Prize 2011, received the first Medal for Social Activism which was presented to her by former president F.W.de Klerk. The ceremony took place at the 12th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Chicago. Michaela, also known as Chaeli, received this award for her commitment to the rights of children with disabilities in South Africa through her project: the Chaeli Campaign.
The Medal for Social Activism is a unique prize which was presented for the first time. The prize is specially designed for people who do extraordinary work to help others.
During the second day of the 12th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates this very emotional ceremony took place. In front of more than 15 Nobel Peace Laureates, Chaeli was praised for her commitment to the rights of children with disabilities in her homeland South Africa. Among the present laureates were former president Mikhail Gorbachev, Prof. Muhammad Yunus and Prof. Dr. Shirin Ebadi. Former president F.W. de Klerk called her efforts impressive and noted that with her positive attitude she is an inspiration to many. After these praising words, he presented this extraordinary prize to Chaeli.
An extraordinary winner
Chaeli was born with Cerebral Palsy, which is why the function of her arms and legs is limited. But where others see limitations, she sees possibilities. Chaeli: “My main drive is for differently-abled people to be included and accepted the way we are, because we cannot change our disability but we can change the way people see our disability.”
Chaeli mentioned in her speech that we can make disability just another trait instead of a reason for exclusion. To make that happen we need to work together. Chaeli also referred to a song of the band Nickelback that says: “What’s worth the prize is always worth the fight”. Chaeli: “I know that the prize of inclusion is definitely worth the fight.”
Finally, Chaeli mentioned that it is even more special for her to receive the award from former president F.W. de Klerk. Chaeli: “I was born in 1994 and this was the year that Nelson Mandela became president of the new South Africa. It is therefore even more special for me to receive this award fromformer president F.W. de Klerk, because he worked with former president Mandela towards a more equal society.”
For more information and the official press release, click here