“Nobel Prize for Child Advocates” Announces 2013 Health Award Honoree

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World of Children® Award to Recognize Philanthropic Entrepreneur C. Mead Welles for Transforming the Lives of Children without Limbs

A child shows her prosthetic leg she received from ALTSO

A child shows her prosthetic leg she received from ALTSO

It is an incredible honor to win a World of Children Award

World of Children Award (http://www.worldofchildren.org) will honor C. Mead Welles with the 2013 Health Award on November 7, 2013 in New York City. Welles, a successful businessman, founded A Leg To Stand On (http://www.altso.org) after being confronted with the harsh realities that many disabled children in developing countries face every day.

Welles' inspiration started in the late 1990s when he was traveling through Indonesia. He was sitting at a restaurant when three underfed and exhausted boys passed by; two pulled a rope tied to a garbage can lid and a third boy sat on the lid. His leg was deformed, raw and bleeding; he could not stand on it any longer. His knuckles were in the same condition, indicating that he had been pulling himself around on the lid.

Paralyzed with sadness for the boy, Mead vowed to dedicate his life to helping children without limbs. He flew home and started A Leg To Stand On (ALTSO), an organization that provides free prosthetic limbs, orthotic devices, mobility aids, corrective surgery and rehabilitative care to children in the developing world who have lost their limbs in traumatic accidents or suffer from congenital disabilities.

Today, Welles lives in Stamford, Conn. and serves as ALTSO’s Chairman and Treasurer.

“It is an incredible honor to win a World of Children Award,” Welles said, “but, more importantly, it is a welcomed confirmation that others recognize how worthwhile our cause is to the children we help. That fact encourages and inspires us to work harder to gain more awareness and funding to continue pursuing our mission of helping children with limb disabilities in developing countries.”

Since 2002, ALTSO has transformed the lives of over 9,000 children and currently operates 11 programs in 10 developing countries. Welles will use World of Children Award funds to expand his program to help more children suffering without limbs.

“We are deeply inspired by the remarkable contributions our Honorees have made to changing the trajectory of children’s lives for the better,” said Harry Leibowitz, World of Children Award co-founder and co-chair. For 16 years, World of Children Award has used a rigorous vetting process to identify the world’s most effective changemakers for children and provide funding for their efforts to improve young lives. The nonprofit’s exhaustive research and vetting of applicants for their awards has been lauded by some of the world’s leading philanthropic organizations.

“Sustainable, practical giving to real life heroes, that’s how we operate,” said actress Stephanie March, celebrity ambassador for World of Children Award. “We are working to create a world that no longer needs our services. Until such a time comes, World of Children Award will continue to elevate those in the field.”

World of Children Award is led by co-founders Harry Leibowitz and Kay Isaacson-Leibowitz, retired senior executives from Procter & Gamble and Victoria’s Secret respectively, who first started the organization to honor individuals serving children with a Nobel Prize-like award. Since 1998, World of Children Award has granted more than $5 million in cash grants and program support to 100 Honorees who are the driving force behind programs serving children in more than 140 countries.


Often referred to by the media as the Nobel Prize for Child Advocates, World of Children Award (http://www.worldofchildren.org) provides funding and recognition to support life-changing work for children. By discovering and elevating only the most effective changemakers for children worldwide, World of Children Award sets the gold standard in child advocacy.

All World of Children Award Honorees are dedicated to serving vulnerable children, many even risking their lives to save the life of a child. These extraordinary heroes work on the ground for little or no pay, running proven, sustainable programs with a track record of success.

Every year, World of Children Award receives hundreds of nominations for their annual Awards. Using rigorous criteria, World of Children Award selects only a handful of individuals who are making an extraordinary difference in the lives of children. Review panels are comprised of leaders with expertise in child-related issues. Once finalists are chosen, an international investigative agency leads an on-site investigation and independent audit to ensure programs adhere to the highest performance standards.

On November 7, 2013, World of Children Award will present one Health Award, one Humanitarian Award, two Youth Awards, one Alumni Award and one non-monetary Advocacy Award.

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Brock Weaver
since: 10/2009
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