13-year Cypriot wins UPU’s Letter-Writing Competition

Chara Phoka receiving the medal from DDG Pascal Clivaz (UPU)

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Thirteen year old Chara Phoka from Cyprus has won the Universal Postal Union’s prestigious 47th International Letter-Writing Competition for Young People.

Her winning letter boldly confronted issues such as conflict and migrant smuggling by telling the harrowing story of a letter’s journey from South Asia to Europe.

A select group of international judges chose Chara’s letter after a global competition involving around 60 countries and more than 1.2 million children.

Speaking about the letter, the Deputy Director General of the UPU Pascal Clivaz said, “Chara’s letter is a mirror reflecting the fears and concerns of young people everywhere. Those worries today are overwhelmingly about conflict and its terrible impact on countries and communities. It is something that we, as the international community, must help change.”   

The prize giving ceremony for the competition took place on 9th October at the Berne, Switzerland, headquarters of UPU. Chara received at the ceremony a gold medal and read out her timely letter to an audience of diplomats, other dignitaries and UPU staff. 

The theme of the 2018 competition was “Imagine you are a letter traveling through time. What message do you wish to convey to your readers?

 The winners of the 47th International Letter-Writing Competition for Young People, 2018 are as follows:
Top three winners Full Name Age Country
1st Prize – Gold Medal Chara Phoka 13 Cyprus
2nd Prize – Silver Medal José Duarte 10 Portugal
3rd Prize – Bronze Medal Nguyen Thi Bach Duong 14 Viet Nam
Special Mentions      
  Ivana Petrova Pojarska 15 Bulgaria
  Clarice Rilyane Oliveira da Silva 15 Brazil
  Brenda Wambui Mwangi 13 Kenya
  Tereza Justina Vaneková 13 Slovakia
  Manja Klemenčič 15 Slovenia