The art competition was launched by the Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls (25 November) 2020. It aimed at involving young people in Fiji and 15 other Pacific island countries and territories in a regional dialogue on issues that underlie gender-based violence, such as respect, value and recognition of women. The competition was open to school students from the age of 8 years and above and it included three age categories.
The winner of each category received a prize pack worth FJD 290.00 (EUR 120) with school stationery, backpack and an arts pack, while the runners up and the ‘Public Choice’ award winner received a prize pack valued at FJD 200.00 (EUR 80.00). Winners also received a certificate signed by the Ambassador of the European Union to Fiji and the Pacific, His Excellency Sujiro Seam.
One of the winners of the competition, Eleni Kamil of Jai Narayan College said she participated in the art competition to express her views on women’s empowerment.
“Women’s empowerment is an imperceptible topic despite the dynamics within society. I thought of using my art as a medium to inspire others to speak out and end the violence against women. I hoped to gain some motivation on what it takes to be a strong woman. I feel extremely excited that I am one of the lucky winners and I’m still thrilled and over joyed to be given such an amazing opportunity to express my art.” said Kamil.
While handing the prizes, the Deputy Head of Delegation of the European Union Delegation of the Pacific, Dr. Erja Askola, said she is pleased to see young people engaged in the critical conversation on women’s empowerment and standing up for their rights.
“Empowering girls and women is critical for building more prosperous, inclusive and safer societies. It is not about opposing men and women, or denying their differences. It is about enabling girls and women of all walks of life to fully realise their potential, to influence and participate in decision-making, and simply to have fulfilling lives.” said Askola.
Fiji’s Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts, the Honourable Rosy Akbar, as well as members of the diplomatic corps, development partners, Delegation staff, head girls and head boys of some Suva schools and members of the media attended the International Women’s Day celebration at the EU Residence.
Winners of the EU Wave of Change Art Competition:
Category 1 (8-11 years) - Hansika Khatri (Fiji)
Category 2 (12-15 years) - Nikayla Stafford (Vanautu)
Category 3 (16 years and over) - Anna Saumaki (Fiji) and Eleni Kamil (Fiji)
Public Choice award (most liked and shared on Social Media) – Monica Fong (Fiji)
For further information, contact:Mohammed Nazeem KASIM, EU Press & Information Officer, Suva, Fiji