KICUKIRO - Ten-year old Sarah Uwera emerged the winner of the World Drawing Competition on Gender Equality, a competition that was organised in the Belgian capital, Brussels for children aged between 8-10 years.
During an interview with The New Times at Kigali International Airport shortly after her arrival on Saturday night, a visibly cheerful Uwera said she was indeed proud to have emerged the winner in an international competition.
“Am really happy for this win, though I didn’t expect to beat all the contestants from all over the world I gave it my time and I think am worth it, this win is a message that children anywhere they may be, given support and a chance can be winners,” said Uwera.
Uwera, flanked by her mother Devota Kayitesi who had accompanied her for the competitions, added that the award winning message depicted in her drawing should not be taken for granted but be carried forward for the empowerment of the girl child.
The challenge that all the seven nominees from the different continents faced, was to communicate through drawing, how gender equality in the past was not considered by many families and how the trend has changed, with the changing times demanding equal opportunities for both boys and girls.
The requirement was to draw two homes one depicting how things were in the past and the other one showing how things have changed.
For Uwera to outclass her competitors, she drew a splendid picture of a home in the past times using black and white texture to show the dampness of the past, and in this she drew a girl at home doing household chores while the boy supposedly the brother, with books going to school.
In the other picture she used green and yellow to paint a modern day home with a girl and a boy leaving the compound with books going to school.
The real fascination in her art was that her drawings were on the same piece of paper but artfully separated with a single line bringing out vividly the two different worlds she wished to portray.
During the interview with Uwera’s mother Kayitesi, she said that her daughter has always been a bright girl right from her first day in class.
“Sarah has been a brilliant girl right from the beginning, she has always had a passion for art. As a parent I helped her in following up these competitions through Contact FM Radio station until I received a phone call from a certain woman telling me that Sarah had qualified for the Brussels competitions,” said the overtly joyous Kayitesi.
The jury selected drawings of children aged between 8-10 years and among these, 14 drawings (two from each region participating in the Competition: European Neighbourhood Countries, Africa, Caribbean, Pacific, Latin America, Asia, and Mediterranean) made it to the final round.
Uwera was the only competitor from Africa who made it to the final round, and to qualify for the competitions, she had first emerged the best out of ten competitors from Rwanda.
The prize for the winner is Euros 1.000 (Approx Rwf 800,000) with others who made it to the final round also being given some prizes.
The winning drawings will be included in a booklet which will be distributed to schools of the regions that participated in the competition.
The competitions were held during the ongoing 16-day campaign against gender-based violence which started last week on Tuesday during the celebrations of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
The children’s competition was supposed to showcase the creativity, enthusiasm and integration of the concept of gender in the spirit of the children, in particular those between the 8-10 years age group.