Cover image: Shape the Future 2014

Shape the Future 2014

Students from Castle Park Primary School in Kendal, Cumbria have won the Department for International Development’s annual ‘Shape the Future’ competition for 2014. The competition challenged UK schoolchildren to submit their best ideas on how to improve the life chances of girls and women across the world. The winners were announced at the department’s #YouthForChange summit, supported by actress and campaigner Freida Pinto. The winning entry started by looking at some of the achievements of equal rights - such as women gaining the vote in Britain - before going on to look at the reality of forced marriage, illiteracy, extreme poverty and a lack of education still facing girls and women in many countries around the world: Announcing the results of the Shape the Future competition, Justine Greening said:

"When I visit schools across the UK I am always struck by how much young people care about what is going on in the rest of the world.

The excellent entries to this year’s Shape the Future competition show that British schoolchildren understand the challenges facing girls and boys in developing countries. Young people are the change-makers of tomorrow and Castle Park’s entry shows that they want to be part of the solution for a better future.

Huge congratulations to everyone who took part. Together we can create a world where all girls and women fulfil their potential free from discrimination and violence."

Schools across the country entered this year’s Shape the Future competition, and 2 others reached the final at #YouthForChange – Raynes Park High School in South West London and St Swithun’s School in Winchester, Hampshire. The winners were chosen by panel of young people and development experts at the #YouthforChange summit. Highly Commended: Raynes Park High School in South West London addressed challenging questions about girls’ education, early and forced marriage and FGM in their video entry to promote gender equality: Highly Commended: St Swithun’s School in Winchester, Hampshire identified girls’ education as the solution to improving life for girls and women across the world. Their video entry suggested ways to raise global awareness of the importance of education: