Amber Kamati from the International School in Walvis Bay became the first winner of the Friendship Day essay-writing competition organised by the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC).
Shekupe Shikojeni and Vipuamuje Tjaveondja, both from Khomasdal’s Gammams Primary School came second and third respectively. The essay competition was hosted under the theme “reach out, make a friend” whereby participating pupils were challenged to write a story on how to go about making a new friend or reaching out to someone with no friends, as well as the impact of new friendship.
UNIC decided to celebrate friendship this year turning to those that sometimes struggle to make new friends, even though their friendships often blossom in the most sincere way.
The learners were also asked to elaborate on how they would go about making a new friend, how they would reach out to someone who is yet to make friends and what impact a new friendship would have on their lives.
Kamati began her work by recalling that “a friend is someone who knows the song of your heart and will sing it to you when you have forgotten the words.” She went on to observe that “true friendship has a lot of definitions” and challenged the reader to discover their own definition of friendship. It was this critical yet spot-on perspective that earned the 12-year-old from Walvis Bay the first place.
Shikojeni aptly observed that “the truest friendships are built with both parties accepting each other for who they are”. In her essay Tjaveondja from the Gammams Primary School in Windhoek urged the reader to seek new friends: “In the end, you will have someone to rely on for advice and someone to lead you in the right path of life and a person to share your happiness with.”
The International Day of Friendship was proclaimed in 2011 by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) with the idea that friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts, as well as build bridges between communities.