And now for something completely different: The Goi Peace Foundation and UNESCO are accepting entries to their 2012 International Essay Contest. This year’s theme is “Creating the Future We Want”. Essays should revolve around the kind of future you wish to create for yourself and the world.
Essays may be submitted by anyone up to 25 years old (as of 30 June 30 2012) in one of the following age categories: 1) Children — up to age 14); and b) Youth — up to age 25. Essays must be 800 words or less in English, and are original and unpublished. Entries must be sent on or before 30 June 2012 to essay[at]goipeace[dot]or[dot]jp; you can also mail your entries to The Goi Peace Foundation, 1-4-5 Hirakawacho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0093 Japan.
The winners of both the Children’s and Youth categories will receive a certificate and a cash prize of JPY 100,000. Second Prize winners will receive a certificate and JPY 50,000, and Third Prize winners will receive a certificate and a special gift. Honorable Mentions likewise receive a certificate and a gift. The First Prize winners will also receive an all-expenses paid trip to Japan to attend the Awarding Ceremony in Tokyo in November 2012.
As a recipient of a special citation at last year’s Akegarasu Haya Prize Essay Contest, I encourage Filipino students of Japanese culture and language to take part in these competitions. More than the monetary prize or the chance to fly to Japan for the awards ceremony, these competitions foster understanding and camaraderie between Filipinos, Japanese, and people of other nationalities.