The Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr. Vindhya Persaud on Monday, met and congratulated the 10 winners of her ministry’s short story competition.
Of the 220 entries, 10 children were selected and were all presented with Amazon fire tablets and printers for their exceptional stories.
“We launched Every Child Safe campaign because this is a commitment by me to all the children of Guyana, to keep them safe. We want children right across Guyana to be safe at all times, we want children to be aware of what’s happening in our country, to let parents know that they have a responsibility to keep children safe. So, congratulations,” Minister Persaud said during the simple ceremony held at her office.
In an invited comment, some of the children shared the inspiration behind their stories.
Twelve-year-old, Rachel Davis, based her piece on a real-life incident, titled Fire, Fire! The young writer from Region Nine is also the captain of a cricket team in her community. She said she participated in order to send a message to other youths across the country.
“I feel great, I can finally share my insights with other children in Guyana and help them to overcome whatever situation they’re in.”
Young Aradhya Ramjag, whose story is titled ‘Aaila Runs Away’, said she was motivated by her parents and books she reads.
“My parents inspired me to write this composition. They are responsible for my high motivational levels and I give lots of credit to them. My story was about a girl named Aaila, who ran away and was found a couple of months later by an old woman. She believed that the world was unfair to her, her parents were alcoholics, her classmates hated her and her teachers ignored her.”
‘Veronica’s Father’ by Shaquana Richards, who drew inspiration from alcoholics and child abuse, said her story will enable young children to be aware of the challenges faced by others.
“I feel very excited because there will be kids around the world reading my story and knowing how other kids struggle with their parents.”
Additionally, Uvana Mohabir, a teacher from Number Eight Secondary, encouraged 20 students from her community to participate in the competition. She said she wanted to shed awareness on child safety and the dangers in the world.
“There is a lot of poor children in my community, so basically many children are unaware that child safety is something important they have to know about. Also, they are unaware that there are many dangers in the world. So, I just wanted them to know more about child safety and to help them to be part of society.”
The storybook competition centred on the “Every Child Safe” campaign which was launched by the ministry to harness issues surrounding child abuse in Guyana through the eyes of children.
The winning stories from the competition will be compiled to create a book for children across the country.