amateur writers

The winner of Umoja Writing Competition 2016: Peace Essay

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First place goes to ‘Peace Essay’ by Disha P Raval who is a Kenyan Citizen who is an Australian resident.

Disha is only 11 years old and turns 12 at the end of the month. We are super excited to announce Disha’s entry ‘Peace Essay’ as our winner. Congratulations Disha on your entry.

Here is what the judges had to say about it:

“I think the author really captured the elements of ‘peace’ and what it means to humanity. Some well-supported ideas that kept me engaged when reading.”

“The author has contemplated what peace means. The writer obviously has researched our theme and produced a well structured piece of writing. I believe this writer feels passionately about peace.”

With no further ado, here is Disha’s entry:

PEACE ESSAY

Both in the world and every community, we need to have peace. All human beings share the same needs and there are many ways that we can make peace in our community and spread it around the world. We don’t always need a large group to make this difference. Even the smallest groups can start making a change and spread it to everyone just like Mahatma Gandhi Ji of India, also known as the advocate of peace, who says; “ There is no way to peace; peace is the only way”.

Peace building, conflict resolution, conflict prevention, whichever term you use, sits uneasily within one particular field, discipline, or government department for that matter. Is it development, foreign policy, diplomacy, defence and security, justice and human rights, any or all of the above?

It seems like the more a society advances, the less peace there seems to be. Gone are the days of just sitting under a tree and thinking about life. There’s Twitter feeds to read, Facebook statuses to update, videos to take and upload on YouTube, drama to indulge in, gossip to listen to and spread, advertising bombarding us everywhere. It seems like we’re soaked in figurative and literal noise all the time. Peace seems to have gone by the wayside but it’s very important we have it in our lives because how many great decisions do you make when you’re not at peace?

The issue of war and peace has always been a focal issue in all periods of history and at all levels relations among nations. The concern of the humankind for peace can be assessed by taking into account the fact that all religions, all religious scriptures and several religious ceremonies are committed to the cause of peace and all these advocate an elimination of war.

Peace is very important in our lives and it is essential to our overall well-being. However, this is something that has, regrettably, eluded us for years and years in this world. This world been hindered by war, conflicts and disagreements throughout human history, which has left our world and the many people in it in a deplorable emotional and physical state. This should not be the case.

Even in the places where the guns are silent, there is still a form of conflict going on in many places which is obviously going to have negative effects on the future society and spark more wars and conflicts in this world. The result of not having peace is very common and near to us. There is almost one or two instances of terrorism, destruction, violence, disease and refugee crisis reported on television, newspapers and social media. Despite peace being such a clear concept in one’s mind, it seems to be drifting away and becoming more and more challenging to achieve as individuals, communities, societies and nations. To prevent continued cycles of violence, education must be promoted for peace, tolerance and understanding to help create a better society for all.

There has always been an emphasis on the undesirable effects of not having peace. Nations and alliances continue to shamelessly spend resources to research on new technologies and warfare. They continue arming themselves with unnecessary ammunition without adequate soul searching as to how conflict can be resolved and peace achieved in the long term.

The concept of peace is unique for every individual however, the formula of peace remains steadfastly in the universal teachings of humanity, which have been prescribed in almost all the religions of this world. It is common practice for such teachings to be interpreted differently and negatively to suit different situations. On an individual level, we see more and more instances of people suffering from diseases as a result of not being peaceful.

One thing that is critically needed to create more peace in the world would be seeking love and not trying to control other people. Trying to control people for one’s own benefit will solely cause conflicts with others. Reducing control by listening to everyone’s opinions and hearing what they have to say is going to broaden the approach of love to others; be it a peer or another country. Another thing that is also critically needed to help restore peace is placing peace before power because having peace is very crucial. There are other ways like respecting opinions and beliefs that contrasts the idea to “control” people using threatening behaviour.

In addition, in today’s world, everyone needs to be tolerant. Tolerance in all that we think and do is going to make a difference in our lives and the lives around us. Tolerance towards others is appreciating the diversity and the beliefs of different people. When we fail to tolerate others’ beliefs, ways of being and opinions, the ending results can be ultimately violent.

Lastly, the last point that is very important is seeking forgiveness and not revenge. Where does an eye for an eye lead? Usually, too many eyes are missing! No matter where we live, what religion we practice or what culture we cultivate, at the heart of it all, we are humans with the same ambitions and aspirations to raise our families and wanting to live our lives to the fullest. Our cultural, religious or political differences should not be the reason to bring conflicts, grief and destruction to our world.

There are many things that could be done to make peace throughout the world that haven’t been addressed yet. I think that we should all start on making a difference and making our communities peaceful all around the world. We should start making our world peaceful and non-violent. The little changes that could be made would make a very big and a very positive change to today’s world and could change numerous lives. If we try to make a difference now, then we can change communities for the better in the future. This will lead to a better and brighter future for our younger generation and peace throughout the world.

Disha, this year's winner of Umoja Writing Competition was born in Kenya and now lives in Australia.
Disha, this year’s winner of Umoja Writing Competition was born in Kenya and now lives in Australia.

 

 

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Entries have now closed for Umoja Writing Competition 2016

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Umoja-comp-closed

Entries have now closed for this year’s competition. Thank you to the wonderful writers who have entered. Though the entry fee is small your money goes a long way helping the Umoja Orphanage Kenya Project. Winners will be announced in October. Good luck to those who have entered. Keep coming back so you can read the winning story.

Help promote Umoja Writing Competition

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We always give this competition plenty of time for entrants to write and send in their entry. Don’t leave it too late though, and miss the deadline. Get working on your entry today. The theme is ‘Peace’ and in today’s world there’s plenty of scope to find a story within our theme. We all want a peaceful world and umoja is all about unity and peace. The small entry fee goes directly to the Umoja Orphanage Kenya Project.

If you would like to help us promote the competition please download the flyer and distribute where you can, your school, university, workplace, gym, library, local book store – anywhere you may find writers. Thank you in advance.

Umoja Writing Comp 2016 Flyer

Front of Umoja Writing Competition Flyer.
Front of Umoja Writing Competition Flyer.

Time is running out to enter our writing competition

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Only a week to get your entries in to Umoja Writing Competition 2015. To make this a successful literary competition and fundraiser for Umoja Orphanage Kenya, we desperately need more entries. Please let all your writing friends know about us and encourage them to enter, please.

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The theme is ‘Child’ but anything can inspire you.

  • The above picture perhaps (baby animals and children).
  • Your own children.
  • Children in your area.
  • The children of Africa.
  • A baby who impacted your life.
  • A toddler’s world.
  • The inner child.

Hurry. Entries must be post-marked 6th August 2015 or arrive in my inbox before midnight on that day.

ENTRY FORM

Ride your own wave when writing

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Umoja Orphanage Writing Comp quote

Here’s another writing quote to inspire you to write.

I hope you get your entry in to Umoja Writing Competition and test your writing. Entries close 6th August 2015. We need as many entries as possible to make this competition a success for the Umoja Orphanage Kenya. Please pass on to all your writing friends.

Here’s some more writing tips to help you in your quest to write:

  • Membership in a national professional writing group can help you establish a professional image
  • Write often, even if it’s just notes and scribbles
  • Writing competitions build writing skills and test you against other writing styles Enter
  • Inspiration often comes from nature. Look around you.
  • Keep a notebook and don’t let any of those brilliant ideas slip away
  • Set writing goals you can reach. Once reached expand them further.
  • Attend workshops and conferences to enhance your writing craft
  • Encourage other writer
  • Write, write & write (edit re-write, edit re-write, edit re-write) polish

Good luck with your entry in this unique writing competition.

ENTRY FORMS HERE

Spread the Umoja writing competition word

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We encourage you all to spread the word about the Umoja Writing Competition. The more entries and the more benefit to Umoja Orphanage Kenya. Ask your local school if they would like to put up some posters. Ask your local bookstore if they’ll encourage their readers and writers to enter. See if your library is willing to promote us. Tell your writers’ group all about us. Thank you to everyone who gets the word out.

Umoja Orphanage Writing Competition Poster

You can download a PDF of this poster/flyer (with the second page) at: Umoja Writing Comp 2015 Flyer

You can also download our entry form: Umoja Orphanage Writing Comp Form 2015

Everyone is welcome; school children, creative writers, hobbyists, serious writers, dabblers, newbies – anyone.

Good luck and get writing now before you miss our August 6th deadline.