Africa has the largest share of children in its migrant population, but we don’t often hear from them. So we (ECOSOCC and the Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH) decided to run the 2nd Edition of the Young Africans Writing Contest (YAWC) in 2022, on the theme, “A Day in the Life of a Migrant Child.”
We got hundreds of submissions from young Africans regarding their experiences with migration, its impact (positive or negative) on them and their solutions to making migration a safe and fulfilling experience for children.
The winner of the YAWC 2022 was announced at an awards ceremony, which was held on 27 March 2023. The Top 10 submissions were celebrated and we also heard snippets of their stories.
As Mr. William Carew (Head of ECOSOCC Secretariat) explained at the awards ceremony, “the YAWC is one of the key initiatives through which ECOSOCC is promoting and inspiring youth creativity and innovation. The second edition of the contest is intended to showcase the ingenuity and talent of young African writers pertaining to the theme of child migration.”
And the second edition of the contest did just that.
According to Ms. Preeya Mohitram (Educator, Ministry of Education & Human Resources Mauritius) who chaired the Jury Panel, “Young contestants were able to make use of empathetic language to convey the multifaceted and complicated experiences of migrant children. Many essays stood out for their originality and creativity: the essays were coherent and realistic.”
Also explaining why ECOSOCC runs the YAWC, ECOSOCC Head of Programs Mr. Kyeretwie Osei said, “If you’re trying to ingrain a sense of belonging and ownership, there is no better group to start with than young people. We’re trying to establish a life-long path of engagement with the African Union. We feel reinforced in our mandate as ECOSOCC when we hear from young people regarding the Africa they want to see.”
Ochieng Anthony Odhiambo (Kenyan) was crowned winner of the Young Africans Writing Contest (YAWC) 2022.
The Top 10 submissions:
- Strong Samantha (Sierra Leonean) - 2nd place
- James Mary (Nigerian) - 3rd place
- Kiilu Immanuel Mwendwa (Kenyan) - 4th place
- Phiri Mirriam (Zambian) - 5th place
- Shiramba Renson (Kenyan) - 6th place
- Eyole Henthel (Cameroonian) - 7th place
- Matekere Japhet James (Tanzanian) - 8th place
- Samura Alhassan (Sierra Leonean) - 9th place
- Kamara Romeo T. (Liberian) - 10th place
An Honorary mention was given to Dauud Osman Fatima who won the Arabic language submission category.
We thank all the young African writers that participated in the YAWC 2022 contest.