Winning images in the Columban Schools Media Competition on peace

Winners have been announced in a media competition for young people on the subject ‘Building Peaceful Futures’ run by the Columban Missionary Society in Britain and Ireland.

First Place Winner
Cara Mashumba's image was awarded first place in this year's Schools Media Competition

Young people 13-18 years were asked to produce an article or image that demonstrated an awareness and understanding of conflict in the world today. Also, to spotlight people, communities and organisations trying to make the world a better place for everyone by building peaceful futures.

The competition attracted 172 entries. In Britain they were judged by media experts who praised the high quality of all the entries shortlisted: Ruth Gledhill (Multi-Media Editor at The Tablet), Josephine Siedlecka (Founder and Editor of Independent Catholic News – ICN), Fr Kurt Zion Pala who is on Columban mission in Myanmar, Columban Fr Pat Sayles and James Trewby (Columban Education Worker). Aisling Griffin and Joan Sharples from Pax Christi provided expertise on the theme of Peace. “We were very happy with the quality of entries and I was amazed at their energy and thoughtfulness,” said James Trewby, Columban Education Worker in Britain.

Second place was awarded to Jenessa Thomas
Second place was awarded to Jenessa Thomas who based her image on a dove, a popular symbol of peace and hope

In Britain, Cara Mashumba of St. Mary’s in Bishop’s Stortford was awarded first prize for her image. “My art piece is based on equality and peace for all people of different ethnicity and religion,” she said. Ruth Gledhill felt it was ‘a really strong, well-constructed image that provokes thought and has immediate impact.’

Second was Jenessa Thomas of Loreto Grammar School in Altrincham, who based her image on a dove, a popular symbol of peace and hope. Jo Siedlecka of ICN felt it was ‘beautifully drawn -and a great composition.’ 

Third was an image by Julia Szewczyk of St. Augustine’s in West London of a Ukrainian girl standing in her city that has been destroyed by war. Alongside her is a sunflower, a symbol of peace and the national flower of Ukraine. In the foreground, people around the world are calling for peace.

The Columbans thanked all the young people who entered the 2023 competition and the judging panel. Former Columban competitions have focused on Climate Change, Migration, Throwaway Culture, Racism and 21st Century Changemakers.

Full details of the competition and a list of all of this year’s winners can be found at

Third place winner
Third place winner was Julia Szewczyk whose image is of a Ukrainian girl standing in her city that has been destroyed by war

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Read the winning articles of this year's Schools Media Competition.

Read the winning articles