French group for helping children in Africa wins Balzan humanitarian prize

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The International Balzan Foundation says a French organization dedicated to helping disadvantaged children in Africa has won its periodic humanitarian award.

The foundation on Monday said the group Vivre en famille would receive 1 million Swiss francs (830,000 euros; $1 million) to build a maternity ward and fund a school for 500 students in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The foundation also announced that its four annual prizes went to an ecologist and a mathematician, both from the United States, along with an Italian archaeologist and a Canadian philosopher.

The Balzan foundation awards four prizes in different disciplines each year aimed at highlighting new research and sustaining areas of study otherwise overlooked. Prize-winners must use half of the award of 750,000 Swiss francs ($800,000) for research.