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Stratford teen is awarded peace prize for charity work

PUBLISHED: 12:13 01 August 2013 | UPDATED: 12:13 01 August 2013

César Lopez, Fredy Gallego, Jason Balaquidan and María del Carmen Muñoz Sáenz with the CINEP Peace Award

César Lopez, Fredy Gallego, Jason Balaquidan and María del Carmen Muñoz Sáenz with the CINEP Peace Award

Archant

A teenager who has been working with a Catholic aid agency has received a peace prize in recognition of his efforts.

Jason Balaquidan, 17, from Manor Road, Stratford was presented with a Peace Award in recognition of his campaigning work with the Catholic aid agency CAFOD and the leading role he took in encouraging others to take the organisation’s ‘Pass it On for Peace’ action in the run-up to the 2012 London Olympic Games.

CAFOD’s Olympics peace campaign was inspired by the 100 days truce that accompanied the Ancient Olympics,

Jason received the award recently at the World Youth Day at Home Brightlights festival in Aylesford Priory, Kent. The festival was organised for young Catholics who were unable to make the World Youth Day celebrations in Rio, Brazil. Young people from all over the UK, Ireland and Spain attended the festival where they listened to guest speakers, took part in workshops and watched the latest from Rio via a screen link up.

The award was presented to Jason, on behalf of CAFOD’s Colombian partner CINEP, by César Lopez and Fredy Gallego, two musicians from Bogotá who use their music to teach young people that there is an alternative to violent conflict.

Jason Said: “Being presented with the peace award by César, Fredy and CINEP is an absolute privilege. Meeting them has made me realise that the small actions I take with CAFOD really do have an impact internationally. Peace for me is being at one with one another and living in harmony. This is something that I will continue to campaign for.”


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