Five Diverse Women to Receive “Nobel Prize for Child Advocacy”

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Five women from around the world will gather in New York City on November 7 for the 2013 World of Children Awards Ceremony to be honored for their child advocacy work.

Triveni Acharya of The Rescue Foundation

Triveni Acharya of The Rescue Foundation

All five women work on the ground in countries around the world, some even risking their lives to save the life of a child.

World of Children Award ( will honor five women – Triveni Acharya, Susie Krabacher, Sarah Cronk, Michaela Mycroft, and Lauren Bush Lauren – on November 7, 2013 for their extraordinary dedication to transforming the lives of the world’s most vulnerable children.

All five women work on the ground in countries around the world, some even risking their lives to save the life of a child. Triveni Acharya, this year’s recipient of the 2013 World of Children Humanitarian Award, has spent the past several years rescuing young girls from brothels in India. Acharya’s first rescue mission was for a girl who had been imprisoned in a brothel in Mumbai’s red light district. When Acharya and the rest of her team arrived, a group of girls were waiting for them, all desperate to escape.

“The girls were so young that they did not even know the meaning of the word ‘sex,’” said Acharya. “This experience horrified me and on the spot I decided to spend my life to rescue these innocent girls.”

Krabacher, Cronk, Mycroft and Lauren also run high-impact programs for children, providing everything from warm meals, to educational opportunities, to urgent medical care.

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.

“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.”

Introducing the 2013 World of Children Award Honorees:

Triveni Acharya
Mumbai, India
Co-Founder and President, Rescue Foundation
Triveni’s work as a journalist led her to a brothel in India where she met a 10-year-old girl who had been imprisoned, sexually assaulted and stripped of her rights. Determined to take action, Triveni and her husband convinced a policeman to accompany them on their first rescue of another young girl. She had been imprisoned in a brothel in Mumbai’s red light district. When they arrived, a group of girls were waiting for them, all desperate to escape. Since then, Triveni has fearlessly led the way in rescuing over 4,000 victims of child trafficking. Children rescued are provided with health care, legal aid, counseling, nutrition and vocational training to begin rebuilding their lives. Currently, Rescue Foundation provides housing to victims of child trafficking in three safe houses in the western states of India.

Michaela “Chaeli” Mycroft, Age 19
Cape Town, South Africa
Co-Founder, The Chaeli Campaign
Some people see disability as a burden, others as a gift. Born with cerebral palsy, Chaeli Mycroft sees her disability as the latter: a unique opportunity to advocate for other children with disabilities. At the age of 9, Chaeli and her friends raised money to buy her a motorized wheelchair. The success of the fundraiser inspired The Chaeli Campaign, a nonprofit that supports the mobility and educational needs of disabled children in South Africa. Since its foundation in 2004, The Chaeli Campaign has helped more than 10,000 disabled children receive equipment and physical therapy. A focus on ability and the importance of inclusion are central to each of the eight programs run by The Chaeli Campaign. Today, Chaeli speaks around the world as an “ability activist,” working to create a global community that accepts and embraces disability.

Sarah Cronk, Age 20
Bettendorf, Iowa
Founder, President and Creative Director, The Sparkle Effect, Inc.
Sarah Cronk grew up watching her older brother, Charlie, struggle to make friends due to his disability. Her brother would often eat alone in the nurse’s office after being turned away from table after table. It wasn’t until a popular swim team captain invited Charlie to sit at his lunch table and encouraged him to join the swim team that his life began to turn around. Sarah was moved to take action when she witnessed Charlie’s confidence soar from this simple act of kindness. She was determined to find a way to include students with disabilities at her high school, who, like Charlie, were marginalized and excluded. In 2008, Sarah created and coached the nation’s first inclusive cheerleading squad. One year later, she established The Sparkle Effect, Inc. Since its inception, Sarah has generated over 100 inclusive cheerleading and dance teams in middle schools, high schools and colleges across the U.S. that directly include over 2,000 students.

Susie Krabacher
Aspen, Colo.
Co-Founder and President, Mercy & Sharing
World of Children Award first honored Susie with a Humanitarian Award in 2006 because of her determination to overcome disasters in Haiti. This year, World of Children Award will honor Susie with the 2013 Alumni Award in celebration of the significant work she and her organization have accomplished since 2006. For nearly 20 years, Susie has provided care and education to abandoned, orphaned and disabled children in Haiti through her organization, Mercy & Sharing. Mercy & Sharing has never been about creating dependencies. Rather, Susie works to determine the best way to help each child, each widow, each woman, and each student become independent. The earthquake in 2010 wrought devastation in Haiti, yet Mercy & Sharing continued to grow programs and services throughout this difficult period. Now, Susie is poised to ensure that Mercy & Sharing is working in Haiti for at least 20 more years – regardless of the obstacles in her path.

Lauren Bush Lauren
New York, New York
Chief FEEDer and Founder, FEED
After witnessing the effects of hunger firsthand when traveling as a WFP Honorary Spokesperson, Lauren Bush Lauren founded FEED Projects in 2007 with the mission of “Creating Good Products That Help FEED the World.” Over the past six years, FEED has forged successful partnerships with companies such as Target, Disney, Pottery Barn, Clarins, Whole Foods, Gap, Tory Burch, DKNY, Links of London, Godiva and TOMS. Every product sold has a measurable donation attached to it and, to date, the social business has been able to donate over $6 million and provide over 60 million school meals globally through the United Nations World Food Programme and Feeding America. FEED has also supported nutrition programs around the world, providing micronutrients to over 3.5 million children through UNICEF.

C. Mead Welles
Stamford, Conn.
Co-Founder, A Leg To Stand On
In the late 1990s, C. Mead Welles was sitting outside at a restaurant in Indonesia 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. Since 2002, ALTSO has transformed the lives of over 9,000 children and currently operates 11 programs in 10 developing countries.


Often referred to by the media as the Nobel Prize for Child Advocates, World of Children Award 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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