Children celebrated the Peace Prize
Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess, Her Royal Highness Princess Ingrid Alexandra and Prince Sverre Magnus celebrated the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates today, along with 7 000 children on the City Hall Square in Oslo.
A planning committee of 12 seventh-year pupils from Sagene and Lindeberg primary schools organised the Peace Prize Party together with Save the Children. The objective was to allow as many children as possible to meet the Peace Prize Laureates.
The most important message of the morning was that all children have the right to schooling and to have a good life. Adults need to listen to what children have to say because children are the future.
This year’s Nobel Peace Prize is a prize that acknowledges children. Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan is 17 years old, and is the youngest-ever recipient of the Peace Prize. She works on behalf of all children, and especially girls, to safeguard their right to education. Kailash Satyarthi of India fights against child labour and for the right of children to lead a secure life in which they can play and learn.
The children welcomed Malala and Kailash with cheers when they arrived on the City Hall Square. The prize-winners took their seat on the stage in front of the Nobel Peace Center, together with the Crown Princess, Princess and Prince.
Children interviewed the laureates
Hosts Sara, Jaleela and Sondre had prepared questions to ask the Peace Prize Laureates. Among other things, the young people wanted to know when – and why – Kailash Satyarthi had launched his efforts on behalf of children.
He replied that when he was five years old and had gone to school for the first time, he saw a boy of the same age sitting outside the gate. Kailash asked the teachers why the boy did not come in. The answer was that the boy was too poor. When he was 11 years old, Kailash decided he was going to do something about the situation. Many children did not attend school because they had no money for books. Together with some friends Kailash began to collect used books to give to the other children. This was the beginning of a book bank – and Kailash Satyarthi’s work on behalf of children and education.
In her remarks, Malala said: “You give me a lot of energy. There are so many girls who cannot go to school. There are so many boys who cannot go to school. They have never dreamed of any iPad or any PlayStation or any Xbox. The only thing they dream of is a school, is a book and is a pen.” She encouraged the children gathered on the City Hall Square to take an interest in the situation of other children.
The Peace Prize Laureates could not stay very long. Their next stop was at the Royal Palace, where they were granted an audience by His Majesty The King. Then they continued on to the awards ceremony itself.
“You have met me with such warmth – I will not feel the cold for many months,” Kailash said to the children as he took his leave.
“They deserve to be celebrated”
During the planning of the event, two of the members of the committee shared their thoughts with Save the Children:
“We want to throw a giant party for Malala and Kailash because they have done so much for the world and for children. And we are children, so they deserve to be celebrated by us,” said Vegard Skotte Nordheggen from Sagene primary school.
This is the 18th consecutive year that Save the Children has hosted a party for the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates.
Congratulations are presented today from His Majesty King Harald to His Excellency Mr Egils Levits, President of the Republic of Latvia.
World Heritage at Vega
In 2004, UNESCO inscribed the Vega Archipelago on the World Heritage List. Today His Royal Highness The Crown Prince was in attendance to open the new Vega Archipelago World Heritage Centre – Norway’s first authorised centre of its kind.