Young people across the UK are sharing their ideas about how to make our world more secure. Join in by entering our competition!
If you are aged 10–18, and live in the UK, you can enter the competition with a:
- poem or recorded spoken-word performance
- picture, painting or other piece of art
- essay of maximum 750 words
- animation or film
All entries received before 1 June 2018 will also be celebrated as part of the Inspire Peace Award, which will be featured on BBC Radio 2 in October.
In October we will judge the best entries and runners up, in two categories: ages 10–14 and ages 15–18.
Winners will receive two tickets to attend a prestigious Peace Direct event in late 2018 in London. They will be able to meet and talk with Peace Direct’s international partners, who work to build peace in communities affected by violence, in places such as Colombia, Israel-Palestine and Papua New Guinea. Peace Direct is an international peacebuilding charity working in conflict zones around the world supporting local people to build long-term peace.
A selection of entries will also be chosen for an exhibition at Friends House in London.
Download the poster
How to enter
Send your entry by 1 October 2018:
By email to email@example.com
Or by post to Peace Education, QPSW, Friends House, 173 Euston Road, London NW1 2BJ.
Include your name, age and contact details.
If you are a teacher submitting entries from students, include their names and ages, with your contact details and name of school.
We will share inspiring entries on social media throughout the competition.
Want some ideas?
What is security?
Security means freedom from harm and fear. When there is a lot of harm and fear, there is insecurity.
To feel secure, we all need to be able to meet our basic needs: for food, water, housing, health and personal safety. And our sense of security is also affected by what happens in our neighbourhoods, our country, and in other parts of the world.
Many people in the UK and across the world face insecurity, and experience it in different ways. In some places, people are unable to meet their basic needs, while elsewhere, they face war or climate change.
There are lots of ideas about what we need to do to reduce insecurity and build a more secure world. And because security matters so much to all of us, our opinions are really important.
This competition encourages us to think about these questions. What makes us feel secure? What causes insecurity? And what can we do as individuals to make the world a more secure place? And as young people, what do we want our political leaders to do to create a safer future for everyone?
What makes our world insecure?
Here are some ideas about the major causes of insecurity in our world. Can you think of any others?
Poverty and inequality
Two billion people across the world subsist on the equivalent of $2 or less a day, and find it very difficult to meet their basic needs. At the same time, the richest 1% of the global population now have more wealth than the rest of the world combined. This inequality is one of the things that can lead to violence and war.
Climate change and scarcity
Many of the earth’s resources are over-used or destroyed. Climate change is resulting in extreme weather and changes to the environment, which are forcing people to move from their land and adding to conflict.
Individuals, groups or countries might want different things, or have beliefs that don’t seem to work together. Conflict is a normal part of life and it can help us to understand each other and work together. But if conflict is not dealt with well it can become violent, which leads to suffering and insecurity. When conflict is not handled well on a large scale, there is war.
Some countries spend a lot of money on weapons and armies because they believe it will keep them secure, or because they want to threaten other countries. When countries spend heavily on the military, this can lead to distrust between countries, as well as causing death and destruction.
What could make our world more secure now and in the future?
Here are some suggestions about how we can build a more secure world. Which ones do you think are most important? What else do you think is necessary?
Meeting everyone’s basic needs
Everyone needs food and water, somewhere decent to live, education and a healthy environment. We also need to be able to live our lives without fear of violence, and to participate in decisions that affect our future. How can we meet everyone’s basic needs in ways that doesn’t over-use resources or pollute the planet?
Addressing long-term problems
Efforts to address global problems such as climate change, poverty and inequality, violent conflict and militarism will make all of us safer. What can each of us do to help with this?
Working with others
Because our world is inter-connected, we need to work with others to find solutions to insecurity. How can we find ways of understanding other people’s needs and opinions, and create solutions that are fair to everyone?
Want to learn more?
Please feel free to browse the resources on this website for further information and ideas.
Teachers can find learning resources on sustainable security on our Educators page.
Who we are
The competition is organised by Rethinking Security, ForcesWatch, and Quakers in Britain. Together we want to open these important questions about security to young people.
- Rethinking Security is a network of organisations and individuals with expertise in peace and conflict.
- ForcesWatch is an ethics-focused organisation that monitors and challenges militarism.
- Quakers in Britain are a faith group working to promote education for peace and social justice.
Just ask: firstname.lastname@example.org.