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A young woman from Colombia is nominated for Children Peace Prize 2017

The young Colombian woman Yadis Xiomara Chocó Mina, who is a leader in her community and is sponsored by Plan International, has been nominated for the Children Peace Prize 2017 awards, which will be held on December 4.

Fifteen years ago a leader was born in Buenos Aires, Cauca. Her name is Yadis and under her sweet smile there is an empowered young woman, sure of herself despite her young age, and she already knows what her purpose in life is.

Since the age of 9, Yadis has been sponsored by Plan International Colombia, and thanks to their support she has participated in various projects which have allowed her to acquire new skills and knowledge to defend the rights of the children in her community and to continue learning in order to achieve her goal of becoming Minister of Education.

Through projects such as “Protejamos Mi Mundo” (“Let’s Protect Our World” in English) and “Usa tu poder para construir paz” (“Use your power to build peace” in English), Yadis has reinforced her innate leadership capacity, which has led her to do things that few young people her age manage to achieve, such as participating in the consultation for the formulation of the National Public Policy of Childhood and Adolescence, and in the formulation of the Territorial Development Plan of your municipality.

A leader, committed to rights

She has also been a speaker at the forum “Mujer, Territorio y Minería” (“Women, Territory and Mining” in English) and played a part of the Participation Table for children and adolescents. But her greatest achievement so far is having been mayor for a day in Madrid, the Spanish capital, showing that nothing is impossible with dedication, work and a helping hand that drives all those capabilities.

This past October, Yadis traveled from the Cauca to Spain to represent Colombia in the celebration of the International Day of Girl where she shared experiences with girls from other countries such as Nicaragua, India and Nepal. For her, the most rewarding part of the trip was representing the girls of Colombia and the opportunity to be heard, making the problems they face on a daily basis known.

"The experience of being mayor for a day was very beautiful, allowing an adolescent, afro-descendant woman like me to be mayor was very significant for me. I got to know the old town hall, to be present in various meetings such as with the ambassador of Japan, and with some architects to check some constructions in the city, I felt very happy," Yadis said.

For her, her participation in Plan International{s projects has helped her gain greater clarity in how she can reach her goals, an for that reason she already knows that she wants to study Law and Political Sciences in order to become Minister of Education.

"Since I came to Plan International, my life has changed, because I started to have a different vision of things. During the trip I can confirm that, now more than ever, I want to be a minister and I am motivated to work for children and defend all our rights,” she said.

Yadis is aware of the contribution she is giving her community, and she recognizes that she has become an example for many people, and that thanks to her commitment to the rights of children, many children have been looking for her to ask how to defend their rights. "I can assure you that the work that Plan International Colombia does has changed the lives of many people, just like it changed mine," Yadis concluded.

¿How can you support her to win?

Share her profile (https://kidsrights.org/nominees/yadis-xiomara-choco-mina) on Social Media: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #ChildrensPeacePrize.