Two of Canada’s Top 20 Under 20 award recipients talk to school children 
in Toronto on Thursday, May 25
 
 
TORONTO - In honour of the Milk International Children’s 
Festival of the Arts celebrating its 25th Anniversary, Harbourfront 
Centre is pleased to present Brave Young World, an outstanding festival 
addition. School groups are invited to hear how two extraordinary young 
Canadians16-year-old Shamin Jr. Mohamed and 19 year-old Cheryl 
Pereratalk about how they have innovated, led, and achieved. They share 
their stories and offer suggestions about how others can help change the 
world too. For the past two years, Mohamed organized World Visions 30 
hour famine at his local high school, which raised close to $10, 000. 
After seeing the images of suffering children around the world, 
especially the sexual exploitation of young children, Perera realized 
she needed to help combat this growing problem. Both award recipients 
speak on Thursday, May 25 at 1 p.m. 
 
Brave Young World is presented in partnership with Youth in Motion. Top 
20 Under 20 is a national youth awards program created by Youth in 
Motion. The awards program honours young Canadians who have demonstrated 
a significant level of achievement, innovation and leadership but have 
not yet reached the age of 20. 
 
The Milk International Children’s Festival of the Arts also showcases a 
stellar lineup of incredible, breathtaking and inspiring performances 
from Canada and around the globe including Belgium, France, Germany, 
Mongolia, The Netherlands, Poland, the U.K. and the U.S.A. The festival 
takes place from Sunday to Sunday, May 21 to 28, at Toronto’s 
Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West. For tickets and information, 
the public can call 416-973-4000 or visit 
www.harbourfrontcentre.com/milk; teachers can call 416-973-4000, option 
5.
 
Volunteerism has always come easy to Shamin Jr. Mohamed. He is currently 
planning the third annual World Vision 30 hour famine. His experience 
with the famine relief fundraiser together with his ability to lead, has 
led to Mohamed starting the Children's AIDS Health Program 
(www.LetsStopAIDS.org), a registered charity to engage fellow teens in 
helping the plight of kids with AIDS around the world. Their long term 
goal is to build a health care centre in third world countries 
specializing in AIDS for children. Mohamed has a mature view of 
leadership. According to Mohamed, being a leader doesn't always make you 
right, it simply gives you the opportunity to make decisions that will 
benefit the whole group. In 2003, he was awarded the DARE arts Leadership 
Award.
 
At age 17, Cheryl Perera traveled to Sri Lanka for three and a half 
months to conduct research on child exploitation. She interviewed child 
prostitutes, soldiers, and laborers and caught their images and stories 
on tape. She met with several government officials, including the 
Minister of Mass Communications and the Advisor to the President of Sri 
Lanka on social Infrastructure, to discuss the plight of children and 
youth taking action.
 
Wanting to truly understand the lives of children in the child sex 
trade, Perera volunteered to act as a decoy in an undercover operation 
that yielded a successful arrest of a 40-year-old pedophile. Her 
experience in Sri Lanka was life altering. In addition to her work in 
Sri Lanka, she is also a board member of CASE (Canadians Addressing 
Sexual Exploitation) and has spoken to over 20,000 individuals through 
countless speaking engagements and has logged over 6000 hours of 
community service. Perera is now the director of a youth-run initiative 
designed to mobilize the travel and tourism industry in Canada to take 
action against child sex tourism. In 2004, she was the recipient of the 
Cinram International Scholarship Award for exemplary involvement in the 
community.
 
The Milk International Children’s Festival of the Arts is sponsored by 
the Dairy Farmers of Canada and generously supported by Agropur-Division 
Natrel, LEGO, Good Humor Breyers, Laurentien, Canadian Heritage, the 
Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, the Toronto Arts 
Council and the Ontario Arts Council.
 
-30-
Festival Media Contact:
Linda Liontis
416-973-4381
lliontis@harbourfrontcentre.com

 

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