Foreign Policy Blogs

Humanitarian Spotlight: Kimmie Weeks



The 2007 BRICK AWARDS honored Kimmie Weeks, this year for his outstanding efforts in making a global impact, mainly on issues of children and war. The Brick Awards honor young people under the age of 25, who have taken and made amazing strides to make a difference. Please do check out the other winners, as they all are young people to keep an eye on. With the future in their hands, I know we can all sleep a little better tonight.

Kimmie was born in Liberia on December 6, 1981, a normal childhood which was soon turned upside down by the Liberian civil in 1989. At the time the war broke out Kimmie was only nine years old. Kimmie and his failed now faced poverty, and so much more suffering during the war. After weeks of hunger Kimmie became extremely ill, and was even declared dead…he was almost buried alive. Luckily he was saved and recovered to full health ,but Kimmie's story was not remarkable, for he was one of the lucky ones, first of all he was alive. However many children where not so lucky, and may others faced torture and abuse as child soldiers. After his brush with death and witnessing the atrocities of war, and the many acts of violence committed against other children, Kimmie knew he had to do something. At only 10 years old Kimmie began his mission to make the world a better place for children.

"all through the war, I saw children suffer worse then I. I watched children die, cut down by bullets or disease that in other parts of the world would be considered no longer a threat. I saw the growing number of young children barely in their teens who were becoming prostitutes. School for these any many others was a fantasy."

Kimmie's mission began with cleaning the streets of the fragments and trash that littered the streets following the war. Soon he would volunteer in hospitals and shelters, with the children, and once again he would have his eyes opened even more to the destruction of war.

"It was there that a child first died in my arms and I knew then and there what it felt like for a mother who lost her child."

In a mere few years, Kimmie helped found the Voice of the Future Inc. (VOF), which was Liberia's first child rights advocacy and humanitarian organization, and was completely run by young people like Kimmie.

Kimmie Weeks
Youth Action International
How Stuff Works Interview with Kimmie Weeks



Cassandra Clifford

Cassandra Clifford is the Founder and Executive Director of Bridge to Freedom Foundation, which works to enhance and improve the services and opportunities available to survivors of modern slavery. She holds an M.A., International Relations from Dublin City University in Ireland, as well as a B.A., Marketing and A.S., Fashion Merchandise/Marketing from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island.

Cassandra has previously worked in both the corporate and charity sector for various industries and causes, including; Child Trafficking, Learning Disabilities, Publishing, Marketing, Public Relations and Fashion. Currently Cassandra is conducting independent research on the use of rape as a weapon of war, as well as America’s Pimp Culture and its Impact on Modern Slavery. In addition to her many purists Cassandra is also working to develop a series of children’s books.

Cassandra currently resides in the Washington, D.C. metro area, where she also writes for the Examiner, as the DC Human Rights Examiner, and serves as an active leadership member of DC Stop Modern Slavery.

Areas of Focus:
Children's Rights; Human Rights; Conflict