February 20, 2015
Ministry of Foreign Affairs launches essay competition for young people

Vincentian students between the ages of 15 and 25 are being encouraged to take part in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ essay competition.

The competition was launched on Monday, February 16th at the Ministry’s conference room, located in the Financial Complex.{{more}}

Sponsored by Digicel, the submissions for the competition close on March 27th, while the prize-giving ceremony will be held on April 10th.

The competition is asking for submissions in three groups, group one (third, fourth and fifth form students), group two (SVG Community College students) and group three (general public between the ages of 21-25).

Group one participants will write a 500 word essay on “Deportation has become a very topical issue in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines as many of our nationals are being deported from countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. As a Vincentian citizen, how would you advise Vincentians to respect the immigration laws of other countries in order to avoid a situation similar to the Canadian decision to impose visa restrictions on our nationals?”

Those submitting in group two will do a 600 word piece on the topic, “Given the reality and ravages of climate change on Small Island Developing States, what recommendations would you make to Government to effectively address these issues in its Foreign Policy?”

The topic for group three is, “Having attained 35 years of political Independence, can development be attained without integration of Small Island States in CARICOM and OECS?” The word limit for Group Three is 700 words.

All essays must be typed, using Times New Roman size 12 font and double spaced, while immediate family members of staff at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are prohibited from entering the competition

The intended prizes for group one first place are a trophy, a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 and a cash prize of $200. Second place will get a trophy, a DL 800 smartphone and $100, while third place will receive a trophy and a cash prize of $150.

In group two the first place prize is a trophy, a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 and a cash prize of $200. Second place will get a trophy, a DL 800 smartphone and $100 while third place will receive a trophy and a cash prize of $150.

The group three winner will get a trophy, a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 and a cash prize of $300, while second place will receive a trophy, a DL 800 smartphone and a cash prize of $150. Third place will get a trophy and a cash prize of 150.

The launch heard from director of the Department of Foreign Policy and Research Sandy Peters-Phillips, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade, Consumer Affairs and Information Technology Camillo Gonsalves and Marketing executive at Digicel Danielle Cupid.

Gonsalves said that the competition is part of a new initiative to broaden the public understanding of the roles and functions of the Ministry and to promote public diplomacy within the society.

“I am particularly glad to be part of this competition as it is another step in the public outreach and diplomacy of the Ministry,” said Gonsalves.

Commenting, Cupid said that Digicel is encouraging young people, “not just to be seeking to find other peoples’ information, but to become creators of information with the facts that are unique to us as Vincentians and Caribbean people and then to share them with the rest of the world.”

She added that while we might not be able to build a motorcar in St Vincent and the Grenadines, “surely we have the brain power to produce information for the world to consume and we have the tools in our hands to deliver it; hence our support for this competition.”

She said that Digicel believes that the competition will encourage excellence in research, writing and delivery on the three important topics that have been chosen by the organizers.

“We must aim to become producers rather than just consumers, especially in the areas where we have an opportunity. Therefore we at Digicel encourage all participants to make their essays useful, practical and interesting,” said Cupid.