Words. They can inspire us. They can terrify us. They can cause us to reflect, change our ways or doubt our strongest beliefs. Two La Châtaigneraie Year 13 students recently put their mastery of words to the test at Global Geneva’s 2019 Youth Writes Awards. They claimed first and second prize respectively at the Morges Literary Festival.
The Youth Writes Awards saw 40 secondary school students from across Switzerland submit both fiction and non-fiction related to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Inspired by the testimony of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) activist Leyla Hussein, who spoke at La Châtaigneraie as part of the Guest Speaker Series last year, Maxine Rechter claimed first prize for ‘The Price of Purity’. Maxine’s story offers a heart-wrenching snapshot into the life of Eshani, a young girl who is at once witness to and victim of FGM. Mohamed Diagne won second prize for ‘Kyanite’, a powerful short story that confronts the reader with some of the major challenges of our times.
As prizewinners, Maxine and Mohamed both appeared on a panel at the Morges Literary Festival, alongside a host of professional writers. They took part in an engaging discussion focused on the challenges young writers face in the modern day. The prizewinners each received a travel award to support them in pursuing their written or journalistic ambitions.
Congratulations to Maxine, Mohamed and all the other participants!
Read their compositions below.