Street Children’s Stories Were Given Centre Stage at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum
March 9 2015

The Midlands Children Hope Project (MCHP), one of ALERT’s partners who work to assist the Midlands Children’s Hope Centre, was represented at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum by Lene Tollefsen Rodegård and Anita Svendheim (founder of MCHP) this last weekend in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States. The two Norwegians, who have been heavily involved at MCHP since its inception, were given the opportunity to present a session at the Forum. The session was titled: "Social entrepreneurship: Turning social need into social capital", and provided them with the opportunity to share about their work with the street children of Gweru, Zimbabwe.

The Nobel Peace Prize Forum, which took place on the 6th to the 8th of March 2015, aims to inspire peacemaking by focusing on the work of Nobel Peace Prize winners and leading international peacemakers and peacebuilders. Disarmament was the central focus of the Forum this year, and featured former United States President and Nobel Laureate Jimmy Carter, alongside many other extremely noteworthy speakers.

It was an honour, as stated by Lene, for two small-town Norwegian girls to be given such a prestigious platform. However, there is no argument that it was well deserved- owing to the hard work and dedication that the team at MCHP has shown towards the street children of Gweru.

This is what Lene had to say about her experience in Minneapolis:

“It was two very excited and fairly nervous girls who showed up at the forum on Friday. During the first two days, we got to take part in some very interesting sessions, led by inspiring peacemakers such as former US President Jimmy Carter, and former Prime Minister of Norway Gro Harlem Brundtland. In addition to this we also attended the VIP-dinner with all the personalities, and during this weekend we have met a lot of very exciting and inspiring people!

Sunday it was our turn to present MCHP, and the work that we are doing for our street children in Gweru. Our session had the title: "Social entrepreneurship: Turning social need into social capital". I can promise you that we were on the verge of a nervous breakdown when about 100 people showed up at our session! However, the presentation went very well, and a standing ovation by the audience after our speech sat the perfect ending to our Nobel Peace Prize Forum experience!! We are very humbled by this, as it was only Jimmy Carter who also got a standing ovation at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum this year.”

Congratulations to Lene, Anita, and MCHP for this incredible achievement! For more information about the Midlands Children Hope Centre, click here

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