Drum Roll Please: 2018 Essay Contest Theme!

By Merritt Frey, Executive Director

We at Mali Rising want to encourage young people in the United States to think critically yet compassionately about international development issues. The Make the Case for Caring Essay Contest is an annual forum for thoughtful high school thinkers to share their analysis on a different international development topic each year.

Today we announce the contest theme for 2018:  Numerous challenges exist in countries like Mali, where many people live in extreme poverty – poor nutrition and health, food insecurity, lack of sanitation and clean water, violence and instability, low literacy rates, inadequate infrastructure, and more. Why should education be a priority given all of the competing needs in a country like Mali?

This contest asks students to build a creative, persuasive argument for engagement in a country like Mali -- far from students' homes and daily concerns. Essayists are encouraged to learn more about Mali, international development, and the connections between education and poverty. Our contest page provides a few resources to get essayists started. 

All students enrolled in grades 9-12 in U.S. public, private, and home schools within the United States are eligible. The essay must be 300-500 words. Additional rules apply -- see official 2018 rules. National winners of this essay contest receive cash awards and recognition. 

  • First place: $250 cash award and publication online
  • Second place: $100 cash award and publication online
  • Third place: $50 cash award and publication online

Essays may be submitted beginning January 1, 2018 via email only to essay@malirisingfdn.org. Deadline for submissions is midnight eastern on March 31, 2018.