Restless Development x Financial Times Writing Challenge

Education isn’t equal. 129 million girls are out of school worldwide. How does education need to change to help more girls stay in school?

Have your say. Young people around the world are invited to have their voices heard on the future of education, in a writing challenge from Restless Development and the Financial Times. 

Winning entries will be published in the Financial Times and We Are Restless – a chance to have your views read by thousands of people.

Applicants aged between 7-18 have until 7 May 2022 to submit answers to the question: 

How does education need to change to help more girls stay in school?

Entries are split into three age categories, each with a different word count:

  • Category A: Applicants between 7-12 years old are asked to submit their answer in three short paragraphs (max 300 words). Parents/guardians are asked to submit the applicant’s answer on their behalf.
  • Category B: Applicants between 13-15 years old are asked to submit their answer in 500 words. Parents/guardians are asked to submit the applicant’s answer on their behalf. 
  • Category C: Applicants between 16-18 years old: applicants are asked to submit their answer in up to 500 words. Applicants can submit their answers themselves.
  • Unfortunately we are only able to accept entries written in English. 

There are lots of barriers stopping women and girls from getting their education, and the pandemic is only making things worse. It is estimated over 20 million girls may not return to school. 

Your answer is a chance to share your ideas and solutions to help girls stay in school.  You may draw on your own experience of education, or the views of movements and organisations you have seen that are trying to improve education for young people, or anything else that inspires you to put pen to paper. 

Winners will be announced on 25 May 2022 and the best entries have the chance to be published on the Financial Times and the WeAreRestless blog. The winners will also be invited to share their answers with political leaders in the UK’s House of Lords in September 2022.

This writing challenge is part of Restless Development’s Power Up Appeal, which is raising money to help girls in Sierra Leone go to school, get their education and shape their own futures. Every pound given to the Power Up Appeal between 7 March and 6 June 2022 will be doubled by the UK Government. 

To enter, please visit the Restless Development website for more information.

Latest news

The Transforming Education Summit, which brought together world leaders to address the global education crises that was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, concluded on 19 September 2022 in New York. The summit was an answer to the Our Common Agenda report, that calls for more inclusive and effective cooperation in response to arising global issues for the next 25 years. During the summit the Secretary General’ s Youth Envoy and youth activists presented the Youth Declaration that looks at the disproportionate impact of education inequity for students in low- and middle-income countries.