The 18th annual Caribbean Child Research Conference was held from 29th – 30th November 2023, at the Five Islands UWI Campus in Antigua and Barbuda. It was held under the theme- A Safer Planet for Every Child. Striving for a world where children’s rights are respected and their voices are heard. Children from around the region had the opportunity to present their work based on the theme, whether it was through research paper, essay, or poster.
Belle Adams, an 11-year-old form 1 student of the St. Vincent Girls’ High School emerged the winner of the essay competition which was opened to children 11-14 years regionally.
The writers of the top 5 essays travelled to Antigua and Barbuda, where they got the opportunity to read their essays before an audience made up of a majority of their peers along with Officials from UNICEF Eastern Caribbean, UWI Mona and Five Islands Campuses, and the Antigua and Barbuda Ministry of Education. The top five writers included Aaliyah Eugene from St. Lucia, Belle Adams and Lynn Exume from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Kezia Alexander from Grenada and Jahedon Noel from Trinidad and Tobago.
At the end of the presentations the winners were announced. Vincentian student, Belle Adams finished in the top spot with her essay titled “Our voice counts in addressing climate change.” Belle highlighted the reasons why the voices of children are so important at the climate change discussion table.
Grenada came in second, with Lynn Xume also of St. Vincent and the Grenadines coming in third place. Trinidad and Tobago and St. Lucia came in fourth and fifth respectively.