ChildFund Uganda on Thursday gave out awards to the best essay writers from a competition that was held last month under the theme: “Impact of Covid-19 on girl child.”
This was during the Children’s Dialogue hosted at Golden Tulip hotel in Kampala.
To commemorate International Day of the Girl Child and Universal Children’s Day on November 20, Child Fund Uganda engaged children in an essay writing competition.
ChildFund Country Director, Moses Otai, said they requested children in the categories of 10-14 years and 15-18 years to write essays on the impact of Covid-19 on the girl child and how the negative impact can be mitigated.
According to Otai, the competition was meant to foster the participation of children in their programs, encourage creativity and offer them a platform to share their opinions.
The essay evaluation focused on the originality of thoughts, persuasiveness of the essay, chronology of arguments, and relatability.
A total of 53 essays were received from Children from 30 districts. Five best essays were selected from each category and these were each recognised with a certificate of participation and gift packs.
In the under 14 category: Tracy Kisakye, 13, emerged best writer; Flavia Acen, 14, came second; Raven Nabwire, 14, came third; Danie Weboya came fourth and Agnes Apio, 14, fifth.
Kisakye’s winning essay was read by Kenyanya Enock from Patongo Akwee Primary School.
In the under 18 category: Kolostica Nakabambwe, 18, emerged best writer; Pretty Aliho, 17, came second; Norah Katusiime, 17, came third; Betty Nakato, 17, came fourth and Janet Mirembe, 18, fifth.
Nakabambwe’s winning essay was read by Kobusingye Martha from St Julian High School.
ChildFund Communications Officer, Brenda Asiimwe, told edge.ug that the winners walked away with branded school bags, cotton bedsheets, solar lamps and scholastic materials.
Children share their Covid experiences
In a dialogue session moderated by TV personality Josephine Karungi and Faridah, the children shared their experiences on how coronavirus pandemic has negatively impacted their lives.
Bella said that since schools have been closed for a very long time because of the pandemic, as an adolescent she has had issues with men disturbing her by asking for sex.
Paul Muzaale from Kamuli said that his father was infected by Covid-19 to an extent that he even lost his job. They struggled a lot to survive since the bread winner was unable to provide for them.
Timothy from Masindi said that Covid-19 has affected him both positively and negatively. He was able to get closer to God, re-focus on his life and also he was able to do his final exams.
When it comes to the negative aspects he says his parents were financially strained, some of his colleagues started using drugs and alcohol.
What should children do to keep safe?
“As children in order to keep safe we should do what’s right and follow what our parents, teachers and counselors have taught us,” Timothy pointed out.
He cited online gambling, an increase in teenage pregnancies, increment in general moral decay in the community, child labour, domestic violence, sexual abuse and school dropouts as some of the negative effects of the pandemic.
He suggested that there should be equality in the society most especially regarding schools. For instance, currently there are some schools in the urban areas that are open.