This year, the essay competition is keen to receive entries from young people in Sierra Leone under the Theme “A Connected Commonwealth”. A connected commonwealth highlights the shared values, interests and experiences across the network. It calls on young people to consider the potential of the Commonwealth in strengthening the vast and varied links between citizens.
The competition promotes literacy, expression and creativity among young people whiles celebrating excellence and imagination. It provides young people with the opportunity to practice their written English and develop invaluable skills in creative writing, critical thinking and the ability to express and argue opinions.
The Royal Commonwealth Society initiated a programme of school outreach last week, including a visit to the St Joseph’s School in Freetown. Children learned about the competition, and how to apply, and were given tips on what makes a good essay.
There are two categories for participation: The Junior Category for children born on or after 2 June 2005 (under 14 years of age); and the Senior Category for children born between 2 June 2000 and 1 June 2005 (14-18 years of age).
Every entrant and every school receives a certificate and chance to win an award. One Winner and Runner-up will be chosen from each category. Winners and Runner-up will be flown to London for a week of educational and cultural events, culminating in a special Awards Ceremony. A number of Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards will be given to both the Senior and Junior categories, rewarding excellence in writing. However, all entrants will receive a certificate of participation.
Young people across Sierra Leone can write on topical and future-facing commonwealth themes linked to democracy, diversity and development, and make their voices heard. Entries are encouraged from schools and individuals. It is an opportunity to enhance school profiles and contribute to a quality curriculum. All entries must be submitted by 1 June 2019.