Winning Essays Announced
Thank you to all who participated in this year’s essay contest. You can read the winner announcement and several of the essays in the different news releases.
- Announcement of Winning Essays
- Winning Essay - Age Group – 17 & Under
- Winning Essay – Age Group – 18-22
FOR THE 2011 ESSAY CONTEST
“COMPASSION AND CHILD TRAFFICKING”
To be eligible to submit an essay, students must meet the age requirements as of May 2, 2011. You may submit only ONE essay.
17 & under: 5,000 characters or less (approx. 1000 words in length).
18 – 22: 7,500 characters or less (approx. 1500 words in length).
The essay must be an original, unpublished work.
Essays may be written in the formal or informal voice, but most importantly, an individual perspective should be present within the essay.
Sources are to be cited in the text. Do not use footnotes or endnotes. You do not need to provide a bibliography.
Essays should be typed in 12-point font, double-spaced with 1″ margins. On the lower right corner of your last page enter your word count. Your name must not appear on the essay pages.
Entries that do not meet these submission guidelines will be automatically disqualified. Entries will not be returned. All entries must be postmarked by May 2, 2011.
Awards and Recognition
$1,000 will be awarded to the author of the best essay in each age category. Second place essays will receive a $500 award and Honorable mention will receive a $250 award. The winners will be notified in June 2011 and the winning essays posted on the Internet at http://essay.oakseed.org.
Essay Evaluation Criteria
Each essay should:
- Demonstrate a clear understanding of the issues surrounding child trafficking and its implications on society.
- Show the author has personally wrestled with the nature and character of compassion.
- Demonstrate the student’s own serious reflection on the current and future problems facing child trafficking.
- Be focused and well-reasoned.
- Use correct spelling and grammar.
All entries will be judged, according to age category, using the following criteria:
Awareness of the problem (1/3 total score)
Demonstrate knowledge and depth of understanding about the issue from your research.
Quality of analysis (1/3 total score)
Develop your own perspective on the issue. This perspective should be reflected in your analysis of the issue and your personal response to it.
Style and mechanics (1/3 total score)
Use proper spelling and grammar. Your response to the topic should be clear and original.
Contest reviewers from outside Oakseed Ministries will identify the essays that best meet the above criteria. The highest rated essays will go on to a second round of judging by a team of judges who will select the semi-finalists. The prize-winning essays will then be selected by the directors of Oakseed Ministries. All decisions are final.
Foreign Language Submissions
Essays may also be submitted in Spanish, Portuguese, French, Korean, Japanese, and Chinese. See www.oakseed.org/essay for submission guidelines and information on other languages.
How to Submit Your Essay Online
To submit your essay online, visit http://essay.oakseed.org for more information and the submission form. All submitted essays must be either in a .pdf or .doc format.
Privacy: Personal Information Form provided by entrants will be used by Oakseed Ministries for contest purposes only and will not be shared or used for solicitation purposes.
Essays must be submitted by 11:59pm EST on May 2, 2011.
How to Submit Your Essay By Mail
To submit your essay by mail, include the two parts.
Part One: A Personal Information Form
Use a cover page to provide the following information:
Your date of birth
Home address, City, State, Postal Code, Country
Home telephone number
School’s name (or specify home school)
Grade level (or equivalent)
Parent’s or guardian’s name (For age category 17&under)
Include the following statement with your Personal Information Form.
I (your name) am submitting an original essay to Oakseed Ministries. I certify that this essay is my own work. I understand that my essay will not be returned to me and will become the property of Oakseed Ministries to use at its discretion in activities related to furthering a compassionate response to the issue of child trafficking. I further understand that the judges’ decisions are final.
Part Two: Submit two copies of your essay
Send your Personal Information Form and two (2) copies of your essay to:
Oakseed Ministries International
PO Box 607
Dunn Loring, VA 22027
Choose one topic and write an essay exploring the specific area, keeping in mind the backdrop of compassion.
- Select a specific agency to discuss its efforts against child trafficking. This can include organizations addressing the needs of the poor, who are most commonly targeted by traffickers. How can you as an individual become involved?
- One form of child trafficking occurs when parents sell their child to be adopted in another country. This can be done knowingly, or the parents may be deceived regarding the situation into which their child will be placed, and they are not aware that they are permanently losing guardianship of their child. Discuss examples and what preventive measures can be taken.
- Child trafficking is a worldwide problem, but each country has tendencies toward a particular abuse within their trafficking industry. Select a specific country to investigate what type of child trafficking is most commonly found there and why. Discuss what might be done to address the cause.
- Children absorbed into the trafficking business find themselves in harsh conditions that lack the basic needs such as nourishment and exercise, education, and interaction with the community. Children are also often completely removed from their families. What can be done to help children whose developmental years have been consumed by the trafficking industry? What can be done to prevent these areas of a child’s development from being so negatively impacted?
- Trafficked children are often made to participate in activities against their will, such as when drafted as child soldiers or when forced into the sex industry. There is not always agreement on whether children should be tried for their crimes, or if only the traffickers should be held responsible for forcing children to engage in such actions. What do you believe is the appropriate response? What should be done to or for children who are recovered from traffickers in light of their troubling experiences?
- Organ trafficking is an increasingly prevalent global issue, though it is illegal in most countries. How prevalent is child trafficking for the purpose of harvesting organs? What is being done about this growing problem?
- There are many organizations seeking to advocate on behalf of trafficked children, What is being done and what more could be done to create greater public awareness and generate action to bring about change.
The essay contest is now closed. Stay tuned for more information.