Filipino Education Advocate Wins World Literacy Award in UK


Philippine Ambassador to the United Kingdom Antonio Lagdameo (right) joins Albert Schweitzer Awardee Melissa Villa (left) and UNESCO Special Envoy on Literacy for Development Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands (center) during the award ceremony.

06 April 2018 LONDON – Project PEARLS founder Melissa Villa received the prestigious Albert Schweitzer Award at the World Literacy Summit in Oxford University on March 26.

Villa received the World Literacy Summit’s newest flagship award from Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands, who serves as UNESCO Special Envoy on Literacy for Development, in the presence of some ambassadors and other dignitaries from over 50 countries.

Villa founded Project PEARLS which stands for ‘Peace, Education, Aspiration, Respect, Love, and Smiles’ initially to help poor children living in Tondo, Manila. The project’s services have expanded to help poor children in the Philippines attain a better life through education, empowerment, nutrition, and healthcare services, among others.

“I wish Melissa Villa and Project PEARLS more success in their efforts to help uplift the conditions of poor children in the Philippines. I hope this well-deserved recognition by global literacy advocates and experts will inspire them and others to strive to end child illiteracy and poverty everywhere,” Philippine Ambassador to the United Kingdom Antonio Lagdameo congratulated Villa. 

The inaugural Albert Schweitzer Medal and Lectureship Award is named after Albert Schweitzer who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1952. The prize is awarded for individual contributions and services to the world in the fields of literacy and health. Apart from the medal, there is a cash prize and an opportunity for the winner to deliver a lecture at Oxford University. END

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