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Invoking death of Syrian refugee boy, Vietnam girl wins int’l letter-writing competition

Saturday, September 24, 2016, 13:52 GMT+7

A Vietnamese girl came out atop hundreds of other submissions to a letter-writing competition with a touching letter from the perspective of the Syrian refugee boy who drowned last year in the Mediterranean Sea.

Nguyen Thi Thu Trang, a ninth-grader from Hai Duong Province in northern Vietnam, has won first prize at the 45th UPU International Letter-Writing Competition held by the Universal Postal Union (UPU), according to the competition’s organizers.

The annual competition, open to children up to 15 years of age, is designed to raise awareness of young people of a global-scale social issue, while strengthening the solidarity and friendship among nations, promoting the participants’ linguistic capability as well as deepening their understanding of the role that the post and telecommunication sector plays in daily life and the development of society.

This year, the theme selected for the competition was writing a letter to one’s 45-year-old self, in celebration of the contest’s 45th anniversary.

Trang posed herself as Alan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian refugee boy who drowned in the Mediterranean Sea last September while trying to reach Europe with his family, and wrote a letter to Kurdi’s 45-year-old self.

His is Hiswords in the letter also echoed Trang’s dream of a world without violence where humans are more compassionate towards others.

Vietnamese authorities, including the Ministry of Information and Communications and Vietnam Post Corporation, are taking care of the paperwork for Trang to join the 26th UPU Congress in Istanbul, Turkey, this October, where the competition’s prizes will be awarded.

This is the second time Vietnam has aced the competition, after Da Nang boy Ho Thi Hieu Hien won first prize at the 39th edition of the contest.

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