The finals of the Young Women's Speech Contest were held on October 21st, beginning with a one minute silence to remember the innocent victims who lost their lives and are caught up in conflicts and wars around the world.
We proceeded with the contest showcasing the incredible talent and passion of seven finalists from across the UK. The atmosphere was electric with anticipation as these young women delivered thought provoking speeches on the theme of youth participation and leadership in peace building and reconciliation.
The event was graced by three distinguished guest judges Dr Christina Scharff, professor Kings College University,
Ms. Gaëlle Berruel Founder A Rockstar
mindset and Ms. Ena Softic, psychologist, and a former speech contest, participant, and a remarkable guest speaker Ms. Remzije Duli founder of KAYAV & B.E.N who shared her own inspiring journey as a refugee from the conflict in Kosovo. Her story of resilience and empowerment resonated deeply, encouraging other young people to embrace their roles in peace building.
The judges faced a challenging task in selecting the winners, as each contestant delivered emotive and meaningful speeches. Ultimately, Sonia Mapo Caweewat claimed the first prize, with Inayah Aziz securing the second prize, and Holly Bains receiving the third prize. Their speeches were remarkable, weaving personal stories of childhood difficulties and experiences with reconciliation and negotiation.
What truly stood out was the shared understanding among all the seven contestants that peace begins from within ourselves, and ripples out to our families, neighbours, and society. Their diverse perspectives only served to highlight the universal truth that peace can be achieved through understanding, empathy, and collective action.
This event was a shining example of the hope and potential that resides within the younger generation. Their speeches ignited a flame of optimism, reminding us that despite the conflicts and troubles in the world, it is the young people who hold the power to shape a brighter future. With their voices amplified and their commitment to peace building unwavering, we can dare to envision a world where harmony and reconciliation prevail.
We would like to express our heartfelt appreciation to all our branches, particularly the Birmingham chapter led by Ms. Patricia Earle and the Central London chapter led by Ms. Anne Kobayashi, for their invaluable support in discovering exceptional young women across the country. We share our gratitude to the volunteers who generously dedicated their time to ensure the success of the contest.
A special acknowledgment goes to Ms. Sharon Kabubi and Ms. Asma Ahmed, our national co-directors, for their skilled and professional emceeing throughout the entire Contest.
They along with the national committee members, dedicated themselves to ensuring the success of this contest for the eighth consecutive year!
45 attended in person
150 attended online