Samoa, 17 years
Nominated by Office of the Ombudsman/National Human Rights Institution, Samoa
Rather than pointing fingers at who is at fault for these children everyone should work together. I think we shouldn’t get drawn into only speaking about the problem, but instead we need to act on fixing it and I believe we can make a difference at any age.
Quenjule, 17, lives in Samoa and wants all children to have the same opportunities she had, including a good education. She believes that with care and encouragement, every child can reach their full potential. Her Turn a Life Program, a free after-school educational program for street vendors and underprivileged children, started to attract other school children too, and Quenjule was happy to accept them. It is a safe place for learning, where uniform, background and age don’t matter, as long as you have the desire to learn. Quenjule’s program has attracted so much funding and media attention that she has been able to provide full school scholarships for a number of child vendors whose parents can’t afford it. In the future, Quenjule hopes that programs like hers will spread to other parts of Samoa.