To commemorate the 2017 Commonwealth Day, the Sir James Mancham International Centre for Peace Studies and Diplomacy, organised a poem competition for all the primary and secondary schools in Seychelles. For 2017, the Commonwealth has chosen the theme “A peace-building Commonwealth” because the world is facing a time of increasing instability and uncertainty. The Commonwealth family of nations, including Seychelles, in its rich diversity becomes an ever more-needed source of strength and hope for all its members. “A peace-building Commonwealth”, reaffirms the Commonwealth Charter principle that ‘international peace and security, sustainable economic growth and development and the rule of law are essential to the progress and prosperity of all’.
One way of attaining this vision is for the Centre to play an active role in locally-led peace-building activities especially amongst the youth. This poem competition was the first in a series of activities in which the Centre aims to give a voice to the younger generation. The 2017 Commonwealth Day poem competition gave the students the opportunity to express themselves and write about what they think we should do, as individuals or as a nation, to:
A total of 162 students from 8 primary schools and 8 secondary schools participated in the competition. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners for both the primary and secondary school categories were awarded a prize during the prize-giving ceremony on Monday 13th March 2017, at the University of Seychelles. The winners also received a Certificate of Achievement and all the participants received a Certificate of Participation.
The winners of the primary school category were:
First place – Maha Shaukat (Independent School)
Second place – Mellisa Andre (Mont Fleuri Primary School)
Third place – Danica Baxen (Bel Eau Primary School)
The winners of the secondary school category were:
First place – Elsia Francoise (Anse Royale Secondary School)
Second place – Elia Savy (Ecole Française des Seychelles)
Third place – Maeve Bonte (English River Secondary School)
All prizes were proudly sponsored by the Cable and Wireless Seychelles.