Oaratwa Tebelelo of All Saints in Sheffield wrote the winning article, ‘Let’s demolish the wall’, described by Ruth Gledhill as, ‘an original and thought-provoking reflection that has the potential to inspire action for change in the reader.’
The runner up was Thea Smith of Loreto Grammar School in Altrincham for ‘Building Peaceful Futures,’ which Jo Siedlecka described as ‘heartfelt and original.’
Third place was Ezekiel M’Imea of St. Mary’s in Bishop’s Stortford, based on the peace-building work of Kenyan Wangari Matthai. Fr. Kurt Zion Pala felt it highlighted ‘the important role women play in peacebuilding.’
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 in Britain attracted 129 entries from 18 schools. “We were very happy with the quality of entries and I was amazed at their energy and thoughtfulness,” said James Trewby, Columban JPE Co-ordintaor in Britain.
In Britain the articles 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 a Columban Missionary in Myanmar, and James Trewby. Aisling Griffin and Joan Sharples from Pax Christi provided expertise on the theme of 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 www.columbancompetition.com.