Inspired by Gandhi was a major international writing competition, which allowed aspiring writers to connect with one of the world’s most influential thinkers through creative writing.
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world”Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi is a towering figure in history whose philosophy of non-violence, passion for equality and independence and socio-political intelligence continues to be an inspiration for many leaders.
Sampad’s major international 2015 writing competition Inspired by Gandhi provided an opportunity for aspiring writers to connect with the immensely philosophical and influential thinker and leader, and express their own response through creative writing.
Our main motivations for this project were to:
- Stimulate research into Gandhi’s life and philosophy
- Motivate people of all ages to express themselves through creative writing
- Inform new generations about this influential leader
- Connect with audiences and participants across the globe
The competition attracted hundreds of entries from more than 35 countries across the globe, including the UK, India, Australia, Grenada, the Philippines and Nigeria.
An anthology containing a selection of the winning entries has now been published. We hope it will be a valuable educational tool to inspire young people in schools and colleges and beyond, helping to keep Gandhi’s message alive for future generations.
As part of Sampad’s education work around the competition, we supported delivery of Arts Awards by offering a package of poets, writers and spoken word artists in five school settings in Birmingham, including cross-curricular mapping, Arts Award templates and certificate submission.
“For me and the students the poets visiting the school was so valuable – seeing that poets live and breathe! Listening and speaking with Amerah meant they connected with a real poet and could see that poetry connected with their lives. Seeing a poem and hearing a poem being constructed line by line live in front of them was a revelation. They saw a new way of writing and widened their perpective of what it is to be a writer”G. Singh, teacher, Chad Vale Primary School
Students from Years 4, 5 and 6 listened to performances from the poets, created their own poems, learned new creative writing techniques, explored themes around tolerance and equality, and wrote about the changes they would make in the world.
The programme supported the teachers by providing resources, linked across the curriculum with tailored templates, to pilot the delivery of Arts Awards through Literacy (Discover & Explore Levels were offered).
Writers involved in the project included Amerah Saleh and Wersha Bharadwa, who worked with primary schools Aldermoor Farm, Billesley, Chad Vale, Harborne and St Thomas and St Anne’s CE. Throughout the project, each school had at least three visits from a writer or poet, a session completing their Arts Award, and a school support visit. Every pupil who was involved created a booklet from their writings, notes, photos, drawings and templates.
“We learned about Gandhi and how he helped the poor people and how he helped people with no violence. He wanted to change things and we can change things too”Year 4 student, Billesley Primary School
Helen Frost, Arts Award specialist at Arts Connect, said “Inspired by Gandhi has been a great opportunity for these children to express themselves through writing and performing – and also to gain a nationally recognised qualification. At Arts Connect our aim is that all children and young people in the region can access and enjoy a rich and meaningful arts and cultural life, and we are very proud to be able to support projects like this.”
Sampad and the schools, teachers and students were very proud of achieving more than 260 Arts Awards.