Winners of the 2021 children's Water Energy Food writing competition announced!

The winners of the “Uniting Water, Energy and Food” writing competition were announced in the Netherlands pavilion at Expo 2020 on International Children’s Day.

The participants, aged 5 to 18 years old, all of whom live in the UAE, wrote their entries in Dutch. Twelve children took home the prizes; in all categories an Adam Bike, the classic Dutch style bike was given as the first prize, the second prize is a Fatboy lamp by Desert River and the 3rd prize is a book, signed by the author of kids’ books Bette Westera. All entries were original and well-written, making it a difficult task for the jury to select the winners.

This year’s jury was made up of Ambassador Lody Embrechts, Amara Kwekkeboom, director of LanguageOne and Sanne van Kordenoordt, editor-in-chief of Hollandse Nieuwe (magazine of Dutch social club ClubNL). Participants had to finish a story about the future of waste management (ages 6-8), food production (9-12), transport (13-15) or write a future speech (16-18). The winners were Jikke Ruijgh, Timo Sweers, Finley Whiterod and Jessica Salomons.

Jikke Ruijgh aged 7, wrote about a garbage truck collector, who drove his blue truck, picking up all kinds of rubbish along the way from the customers he knew very well. But he’s unhappy with how much waste there is, and what is going to happen to it. So he devises a plan to get his customers to throw away less stuff, and advises them on how to make the other garbage more usable. Jikke emphasizes that it takes time to make people change their behavior.

Timo Sweers, aged 11, wrote about sustainable ways of producing food in Dubai 2050. The Netherlands is the second largest exporter of agricultural products, even though it’s only half the size of the UAE. The Netherlands strives to reduce carbon footprint using its advanced agricultural technology. Timo came up with the idea to live off the land, using clouds and solar power for producing food in the UAE.

Finley Whiterod, aged 13, wrote about a company called Hyperloop, that enables large numbers of passengers to travel up to 1000 km per hour. Hyperloop plans to launch in 2030. Their capsules travel through tubes and will go as fast as planes underground. At the same time, they create with less noise than electric trains and use less energy per passenger than any other form of transportation. They will have mountable solar panels that will harvest energy from the sun during the daytime and will give off zero emissions. Finley proposed how to roll it out worldwide and how it will affect our daily lives.

Jessica Salomons, aged 16 wrote a proposed opening speech for Expo 2040 which will be held in the UAE. She spelled out how our climate is in 2050, and what the key issues will be. She describes what the key concerns will be, if we achieved the sustainable development goals as set out by the UN. Jessica made an impressive call to action.

Amara Kwekkeboom, one of the judges, director of LanguageOne said, “Since these children and teenagers are the next generation, it’s inspiring to explore their ideas of a sustainable future. It’s been a great pleasure to be part of the jury of this Dutch writing competition in the UAE.” And Sanne van Kordenoordt, another jury member said, “What a pleasure it was reading all the creative stories by these kids in the UAE. They came up with some great ideas for a sustainable future.”

Winners’ stories will be published in a special edition of Hollandse Nieuwe in December.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Brendan McCann  l  Senior Communications Officer

Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

+971 501685540

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