OneChild's Cheryl Perera Awarded BR!CK Award, "The Oscars of Youth Service Awards"

    TORONTO, April 11 /CNW/ - Cheryl Perera, 21, the accomplished Canadian
children's rights advocate and Founder and President of OneChild, received a
2007 BR!CK Award Tuesday night, which honours and funds change-makers age 25
and under for making the world a better place. Described by CNN as the "Oscars
of youth service awards", the award was presented to Perera by Wyclef Jean at
a star-studded show hosted by LeAnne Rimes and Damien Fahey in Times Square,
NYC. Other celebrities who presented at the BR!CK Awards include: Susan
Sarandon, Mandy Moore, Dashboard Confessional, Petra Nemcova, Bryan Greenberg,
Hilarie Burton, and Jamie Lynn-Sigler. The BR!CK Awards is the first televised
awards show to honour young change-makers and will air April 12th at 9pm EST
on the CW Network.
    Perera joined 23 other finalists on January 19 in New York City, to
interview for the awards and for a presentation by Susan Sarandon, a major
supporter of the BR!CK Awards. The 24 finalists were selected from more than
1,000 applicants and nominations. Perera, along with eleven other young adults
received BR!CK Awards of $10,000 US to fund their causes.
    Commenting on the recognition, Perera said, "I am so humbled by this
honour, and I accept this BR!CK Award on behalf of the millions of children
affected by commercial sexual exploitation and the young people of OneChild
who are working to end the abuse of their peers. This recognition is a
testament to the power of youth to stand up for the rights of children and be
the difference that makes a difference in this world."

    About Cheryl Perera

    Perera has worked tirelessly to turn the tables on the child sex trade
since she first learned about the issue through a high school research
project. At the young age of 17, Perera traveled to her native Sri Lanka to
pose as the decoy - a 15 year old child prostitute in a STING operation, and
was offered a permanent placement at the Presidential Secretariat to serve as
the President's Nominee on Child Protection.
    Now a student of Trinity College at the University of Toronto, Perera
leads OneChild - a nonprofit organization empowering children and youth to
take action against the global sex trade in children. Perera has traveled to
many countries addressing government bodies, business groups, educators, and
students on the importance of social activism, volunteerism and children's
rights issues. Perera has been recognized as one of 'Canada's Top 20 Under
20,' one of 'Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100' for 2006, and is the
recipient of the World of Children Founder's 2006. She has been featured on
the CBC, in Flare Magazine, The Toronto Star, and The National Post.

    About OneChild

    OneChild is a Canadian-based, non-governmental organization dedicated to
the elimination of the commercial sexual exploitation of children abroad.
Unlike any other organization dedicated to ending the global sex trade in
children, OneChild was uniquely created and is driven by children and youth
with a shared passion for playing an active role in confronting the commercial
sexual exploitation of children, and preserving the innocence of their peers
around the world. OneChild was established as a registered, nonprofit
organization in July 2005.

    About The BR!CK Awards

    The BR!CK Awards recognize and support social change-makers age 25 and
under. Since 1996, the BR!CK Awards have honored young people making the world
a better place. BR!CK Award winners receive as much as $25,000 for their
cause, as well as international recognition, televised glory, and pro bono
legal services.

For further information:

For further information: Trixie Perera, (905) 882-0949,,

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