Last week, FVPC awarded 12-year-old Eli Rice the “Making a Difference” award for his efforts in taking a stand against domestic violence in his community and in the world. Eli is a seventh grade student at Duke School and involved in the school’s Model United Nations.
When deciding which country to represent, Rice chose Ecuador, a country he visited last summer with his sister and his parents. During their week-long stay, the family worked on a sustainable farming project with ninety other families that call the river community of Rio Muchacho home.
This weekend, Eli will represent Ecuador and present his resolution on ending domestic violence at the National Model UN Convention in Dallas, TX. “I needed a public health issue for my resolution. My mom suggested domestic violence,” explains Eli. “At first I didn’t think it was that big of an issue. I did some research and found that it is a huge unaddressed problem worldwide. I can’t imagine my mom or sister being beaten. I think men need to take a stand.”
Eli’s defense calls for people to change their perception of domestic violence, “some argue that this is a human rights, or women’s issue rather than the significant public health problem that it is.”
When Eli is not busy addressing the worldwide epidemic of domestic violence, he enjoys playing soccer, and has recently been studying intensely for his bar mitzvah.