I am immensely proud of Umoja Writing Competition and my contribution to it. In an a busy year, both personally and professionally, fitting in the time to commit to the blog and other promotions for Umoja Writing Competition is sometimes difficult, but the end result is always worth that effort. I also have the help of founder Cathy Booth and deputy principal Deborah Lawrence as well as some anonymous judges (you know who you are). Without them my job would be so much harder, so thank you. We raise much needed funds for Umoja Orphanage Kenya Project and that’s the most important thing.
The organiser of this writing competition, Donna Munro has worked in the publishing industry as a marketing publicist, editor and is also a published writer. She has a love of Africa as well as the written word, so to collaborate with the Umoja Orphanage Kenya Project, by creating a writing competition, is a perfect fit and something that she looks forward to again.
The competition is heading into its fourth year. We are hoping for plenty of quality stories after the last three year’s success. These stories will be judged by a panel (to be selected from Umoja, Rotary and the publishing industry). You can read about 2014 winner Lauren or 2015 winner Kirsten. And the newly announced winner of this year’s competition Disha Raval who is only 12 and born in Kenya.
Starting a writing competition seemed like an easy thing before I began. I soon found out that it’s difficult to publicise with so many other things online. To make this competition stand out I had to make people aware that it was a worth literary competition, but also a fundraiser for a worthy cause. Ultimately, even the cause had a lot of competition. With so many fundraising ventures around the world there’s a lot of pressure to explain why this one means so much. There are many (too many) underprivileged people, so which cause to choose? Some people like donating to animal funds (I also support RSPCA and The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust), some people donate to cancer or health causes, some people like to help refugees (and there are plenty at the moment), some people prefer to help their own backyard first (Australia) – all extremely worthy causes.
So why Umoja Orphanage Kenya?
For me it’s a life dream. I’ve always been fascinated in Africa. I could thank my Dad and the Tarzan movies we used to watch, but I think it’s deeper than that. We are all Earth’s people. We feel a connection to our own country (and I love Australia and am proud to be Australian) but we can also be connected to our wider world. For me it’s Africa. Maybe in a previous life I lived there. I’m not too sure why I feel I have to protect that area of Earth. Africa not only has some of the most unique animals on Earth (some close to extinction) but also some of the happiest but most hardshipped people. I like the idea of our world being united, particularly Australia and Africa. Then I came across Umoja, which means just that – unity.
Combined with writing
Combine that unity with my love of writing and Umoja Writing Competition was born. I’ll be looking for new ways to run this year’s competition to maximise what we can do for Umoja Orphanage Kenya. I’m not alone. As the competition has progressed more people have come in support.
Please let me know any ideas you may have. I’d appreciate any input from writers and supports of a united world. Help the competition be a success next year. Please go to the page and Follow. Thank you.