The Theme for 2017-2018 is "The Future of Peace".
Unfortunately we have had no entries last year, please take a look and get into the schools at the beginning of the year to promote this Competition.
Why not approach schools now and ask if there are any students that could take part in this competition, then when we have the new theme they could be raring to go.
Lions clubs around the world are encouraged to sponsor students in the Lions International Essay Contest.The Essay Contest is for visually impaired young people. In this context visually impaired is more than simply needing glasses though an exact definition is hard to come by, a good guide would be the issue of limited vision being included in special educational needs provision. This contest was introduced in 2010-2011, here is a link for more information. The annual Peace Essay Contest encourages blind and visually impaired young people to express their thoughts of peace through the written word.
This essay contest was created to offer an opportunity to encourage blind and visually impaired young people to express their feelings of peace. The theme of the 2016-17 Lions International Essay Contest is "A Celebration of Peace." Students who are blind and visually impaired and who are 11, 12 or 13 on November 15th, are eligible to participate.
Work with your fellow Lions, local schools and area families to identify young people who are interested in participating and who could benefit from this program. One grand prize winner will receive an award and US$5,000.
Although some clubs may have schools in their area that specialize in visual impairment many of the potential entrants will be within main stream schools. An approach to the LEA adviser may be a way to find eligible youngsters.
Each essay must be submitted with a completed entry form. Essays must be no longer than 500 words in length, submitted in English, type-written in black ink and double-spaced.
The grand prize winner will be notified on or before June 1.
Here is an example of 2015-16 grand winner's essay. I am hoping that this will encourage clubs to go out there and participate in this competition.
LIONS CLUBS INTERNATIONAL 2015/2016 ESSAY CONTEST
THEME: SHARE PEACE NAME: JOEL GREEK – GRADE SIX
ATHLONE SCHOOL FOR THE BLIND
As a young person in today’s society I feel world peace is possible in our lifetime. The challenges we face have always been the same; racism, inequality, discrimination, and poverty these are part of our story.
The difference today there are many people standing up for their rights. Knowing we are all connected my success is influenced by others and when they suffer it will affect me too. The world has gotten smaller in many ways. You can get on a plane and go anywhere in the world in less than a day. You can go onto the internet and connect with different people from around the world in a instant. Yet with all the advances we have also become disconnected and have lost ourselves in a world where what you wear and how much you have is more important than your character and values.
There are wonderful role models all through history. People that had the courage to stand up to tyranny and faced incredible odds. Children like Anne Frank who believed in the goodness and humanity in people until her life was taken by the system that did not even see her as a person. Nkosi Johnson a young boy from our own country who knew that his HIV-status did not make him less than any other child and believed every child deserves equal opportunity. Laura Bridgeman who became the first deaf, blind person to be properly educated. Malala Yousafza who defied the Taliban and demanded that girls receive the same education as boys.
There have always been bullies, tyrants those that believe they are better, they deserve more. Every day around the world there are the Anne Franks, Nkosi Johnson, Laura Bridgeman’s and Malala’s standing up for their rights and less fortunate, underprivileged, those without voices the unseen but today the heroes outnumber the villains.
I myself am a young boy with a disability, the only one in my family. Yet they accept me knowing I am capable of anything. We have an opportunity to change the world. By accepting our ownselves, our differences, our imperfections, our shortcomings, we will be able to accept others, their differences, their imperfection and their shortcoming.
In Greek Mythology there is Pandora who opened a jar and every disease and evil came out into the world. After all the things left the jar, the only one left was hope. I believe that is our world today. Filled with all kinds of evil and war. Yet there is hope, there will always be hope. Someone said; "Evil triumphs when good men do nothing." In today’s world there are too many of us that will do something and stand up.
We are more especially the youth because they are the future. Ensuring the evils of the past are not repeated, and to make our tomorrow better than our today. Nelson Mandela said, "Be the change you want to see in the world".