Cris Valdez

Activist Type
Children's Rights

Cris “Kesz” Valdez is a young Filipino humanitarian who overcame physical abuse and scavenging dumps to survive when he was taken into care and mentored by fellow human rights worker Harnin Manalaysay at the age of four. Together, Valdez and Manalaysay founded the organization Championing Community Children, known as C3. C3 has helped over 10,000 children across the Philippines by providing them with Gifts of Hope, such as footwear, toys, and school supplies, along with educating street children on hygiene, health, and rights, all to empower them and transform their lives. In 2012, at the age of thirteen, Valdez was presented the International Children’s Peace Prize by Desmond Tutu. Kesz became the first Southeast Asian and youngest recipient of the award, which also comes with a 100,000 Euro payday. Valdez promptly put the money towards his various humanitarian projects and is looking forward to the prospect of completing his education. He hopes one day to realize his dream of becoming a doctor and continuing to spread his motto that we can change the world one heart at a time.

Artwork by
Hanjoon Kim
Weaving is a historic art form in the Philippines. Filipinos have woven their clothes, baskets, hats, and rugs with vibrant colors and geometric patterns. This portrait of Kesz Valdez is made by paper weaving, a technique similar to their traditional weaving. Background colors are royal blue and scarlet, which are the same colors as their flag. In their flag, the blue stripe means “peace,” and the red stripe means “valor.” Peace and valor are the best words that represent Kesz Valdez.


Philippines Flag
June 12, 1898
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