COVID-19 POETRY AND STORYTELLING COMPETITION


“Theme: Dealing with the effects of Covid 19 on mental Health. A Young person’s struggle and responsibility.”

Background

The Covid-19 pandemic has triggered an increase in persistent stress, anxiety and depression symptoms among young people in low income households in Uganda thus inspiring us to develop the Covid-19 Poetry and Storytelling competion. A number of young people especially Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW) are struggling to deal with the effects resulting from being infected or affected by Covid 19. Many of them have stopped school due to lockdown measures, others dropped out of school due to reduced income, and some have lost or seen their parents/guardians lose jobs while others are struggling to access the right information about Covid 19 or any ray of hope in this Pandemic. This has had a major negative impact on their mental health. According to a recent study carried out on 12,000 young women in low income communities in Uganda by StrongMinds (a Mental Health organization working in Uganda and Zimbabwe), Nearly a quarter of young women surveyed reported experiencing heightened mental distress due to recent Covid 19 events, citing increased unemployment, food security, household violence, and substance abuse stemming from the pandemic. The need to address mental health during this pandemic and support young people overcome persistent stress, anxiety and depression symptoms is more evident than before and It’s against this background that Public Health Ambassadors Uganda (PHAU) has organized a virtual call to action initiative for young creative writers to rise up, speak out and champion efforts that are focused towards supporting young people overcome the effects of Covid 19 on their mental health, through a creative writing competition dubbed the Covid-19 Poetry and Storytelling(CPS) competition .

Concept

The Covid-19 Poetry and Storytelling(CPS) competition is an open space for young creative writers aged (15 – 35) majoring in poetry and storytelling to join the call to action movement of addressing a young person’s struggle and responsibility in dealing with the effects of Covid 19 on their mental health by submitting a winning Poem or story to a CPS Competition Committee set up by Public Health Ambassadors Uganda (PHAU) and its partners. All participants will be required to submit their creative pieces and the Competition Committee will sit and assess every piece to select the top 10 finalists who will be announced a few days before the grand finale event via PHAU website and all its social media platforms. The selected top 10 finalists will then have an opportunity to present their creative pieces live at the virtual grand finale event. Out of the top 10 finalists, the committee will select the top 3 winning creative pieces whose authors will be announced and crowned with gifts and cash prizes at the grand finale event.
The Covid-19 Poetry and Storytelling(CPS) competition is an open space for young creative writers aged (15 – 35) majoring in poetry and storytelling to join the call to action movement of addressing a young person’s struggle and responsibility in dealing with the effects of Covid 19 on their mental health by submitting a winning Poem or story to a CPS Competition Committee set up by Public Health Ambassadors Uganda (PHAU) and its partners.
COVID-19 POETRY AND STORYTELLING COMPETITION (CPS COMPETITION)

Main objectives of the Covid-19 Poetry and Storytelling Competition

To address the effects of Covid 19 on the mental health of young people especially Adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) aged 15 – 30 in Uganda through Creative writing.


ABOUT THE COMPETITION

Creative Piece Requirements
All Participants are required to submit a maximum of one creative piece (poem/story) in two forms namely;
 Text: Not more than 3 pages.
 Audio: Not more than 3 ½ minutes.

Submission and deadline
All Participants are required to submit their creative pieces by sending both text and audio to PHAU email address info@phauganda.org before the 7th of August 2021.

CPS Competition Committee
The CPS Competition committee will have the responsibility of scrutinizing every creative piece to select the top 10 finalists and top 3 winning creative pieces. The committee will consist of experienced creatives from PHAU, Open Mic Uganda and other creative writing brands.

Assessment Parameters
Every creative piece will be assessed basing on the following parameters;
 Originality: The ability to create your own content.
 Creativity: The ability to be artistically different through your content.
 Fact: The ability to provide accurate information within your content.
 Call to action: The ability to inspire attitudinal, behavioural and practical change through your content.
 Edutainment: The ability give education and entertainment at the same time within your content.

Finalists, Winners and Prizes
 Finalists: The Committee will select the top 10 finalists who will be announced a few days to the virtual grand finale through the PHAU website and all its social media platforms.
 Winners: Out of the top 10 finalists, the committee will select the 3 winners who will be announced at the virtual grand finale event. The 3 winners will receive gifts and cash prizes accordingly.
 Prizes: The grand prize is UGX 1,000,000, the first runner's up prize is UGX 700,000 and the second runner's up prize is UGX 500,000.

Grand Finale Event Date
The Grand Finale event will be a Webinar by and for the youth with the Theme: Dealing with the effects of Covid 19 on mental Health, a Young Person’s Struggle and Responsibility. The Webinar will be graced by a few vocal young people as guest speakers and will be attended by a number of young people from different backgrounds. The Webinar will take place on the 14th August in commemoration of the International Youth Day and will be streamed via Zoom.

Partners
The Partners of the CPS competition include the following
 PHAU
 Open Mic Uganda
 Guttmacher Institute
 YoSPACE project
 Beyond Latin Vibes

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