Congo - Kinshasa, 16 years
Nominated by International Rescue Committee
Issue: Refugee Children
We should all take the responsibility of helping children who are living in difficult circumstances and enable them to fulfill their potential.
Mwandja, from Congo, has lived with his family in Nyarugusu refugee camp in Tanzania since 2003. When his parents divorced in 2007, Mwandja’s brother was left looking after the family. The children were forced to turn to begging until the camp intervened to help. His experiences motivated Mwandja to stop the same thing happening to other children. He fights for the rights of children affected by war, especially those who seek refuge in other countries, whose rights are so often violated. He has organized discussions on children’s issues to teach his peers about their rights and about the importance of education. He is a member of the Child Parliament, and as a volunteer for the IRC, he has reduced cases of child abuse and child pregnancy in the camp.