By Peter Uzoho
REEL Foundation, a not-for-profit humanitarian organisation focused on children’s learning and development, has unveiled winners of the maiden edition of its Young Writers Challenge.
The Young Writers Challenge is a special programme organised for children within the ages of seven to 13 years, with the aim of celebrating them, their imagination and creativity, irrespective of where they live.
The maiden edition was competed by children from 345 applications received from over 20 states in Nigeria and five children emerged winners from the ages seven to nine category while 10 best children emerged from that of ages 10 to 13 category.
At a press conference last weekend where the winners were unveiled, the first, second and third best contestants for the seven to nine years category received cash prizes of N20,000, N15,000 and N10,000 respectively, in addition to free NaijaKids activity books, and scholarship to attend iREAD Writers’ Camp holding next month.
The fourth and fifth best in that category also received N5,000 and the activity book only.
In the ages 10-13 category, the first, second and third best contestants went home with cash prizes of N50,000, N30,000 and N15,000 respectively, in addition to one tablet each.
Also, the last seven in that category went home with N10,000 cash prize.
Speaking at the event, the founder of REEL Foundation, Ajoke Omawore, described the maiden Young Writers Challenge as a success.
She said: “The Young Writers Challenge has been in the pipeline in the last two years, but this year provided an opportunity for us to test the new normal that we are in.
“For instance, technology is something that has been greatly used this year, and we thought about how do we reach out to children irrespective of their background, to engage them, make sure they are learning, and that was why we decided to do the challenge this year and focus on children telling stories about COVID-19.”
Going forward, Omawore said the foundation would be publishing an anthology of the first 15 entries for the two categories.
“We are going to put all of their stories into an anthology and publish it on our social media platforms.
“Like we said, we want other people to also enjoy the stories that this brilliant children wrote. Beyond that, we believe this is going to be an annual event. Subsequently, we also want to reach out to corporate organisations who can continue to sponsor us,” she said.