Drawing a better world: EuropeAid 2011 Children's Drawing Competition winners announced (29/06/2011)

14 winners of the European Commission's International Drawing Competition on Gender Equality were today chosen by pupils at the Brussels European School. They come from 13 countries. Each winner will be awarded a prize of €1,000, which will be used to buy books, computers and pay for school or library fees or other education materials.

Over 40 000 children aged between eight to ten sent in their visions of how to make the world a fairer and more equal place. Many of the children involved in the competition have themselves been brought up in very difficult backgrounds and situations, such as in Afghanistan, and very often express the harsh reality of their everyday life through their drawings. 

This is the fifth year in a row that the European Commission has organised the competition, which was launched on International Women's Day, on 8 March 2011.

This year's competition has seen participation from 60 countries in seven regions: Africa, Asia, Caribbean, the Pacific, Latin America, Mediterranean, the Middle East and the European Neighbouring Countries of the EU.

Director Aristotelis Bouratsis said: "I'd like to congratulate the winners of this competition. We received a really high standard of entries from all over the world, so it was very hard for our jury to pick the winners. This drawing competition, although a simple idea, is a very successful tool in helping to bring about change in gender equality through future generations, so I am delighted to see so many children keen to be a part of it".

Overall winners were selected following a long and rigorous process which started in their schools and culminated in the finalists' selection ceremony where the overall regional winners were chosen by a jury composed of students of the same age as them, from the European School of Brussels.

Winners were selected according to their ability to express a strong message relevant to the theme and context of their country, as well as for their originality, creativity and artistic quality.

Further information

The Drawing Competition helps to mobilise and raise awareness of both children and adults around the issue of gender equality, and gives EU Delegations across the world the opportunity of opening the debate at institutional level by involving the relevant national and local authorities in the planning and implementation of the competition.

This year's overall winners per region are:

Africa:

Tapawa Kabaura, aged 9, Zimbabwe
Abigail Alem, aged 10, Eritrea
Nestor Bassou, aged 9, Central African Republic
Fardeen Jumun, aged 10, Mauritius

Asia:

Song Sothy, aged 10, Cambodia
Suthipat Suwanrathpum, aged  9, Thailand

Caribbean and Pacific:

Shalinda Ragbir, aged 10, Trinidad and Tobago
Kelly Sammy, aged 10, Trinidad  and Tobago

Latin America:

Alejandra Bermudez Torres, aged 8, Colombia
Mitzi Yazmin Cancino Huerta, aged 9, Mexico

Mediterranean and Middle East:

Sasi Knafai, aged 9, Israel
Imene Moulakikmin, aged 8, Algeria

EU Neighbourhood Countries:

Polina Rubtsova, aged 9, Russia
Idrin Hajrullahu, aged 9, Kosovo

An exhibition of both the winners and best drawings will take place at the Musée des Enfants in Brussels, from the 7 to the 26 December.  The exhibition will be officially opened on the 8 November by Andris Piebalgs, Commissioner for Development, in the presence of some of the six regional winners.

More info:

EU Action Plan on Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment in Development:

http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/what/gender/index_en.htm
http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/what/gender/women-day_en.htm

Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs' website: http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/piebalgs/index_en.htm

International Competition on Gender Equality: http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/what/gender/drawing-competition-2011_en.htm

Europe for Women: http://ec.europa.eu/publications/booklets/others/87/index_en.htm