13-Year-Old Kenyan Girl Beats 1.7 Million Participants to Win Global Letter-Writing Award

Claire Gakii, a 13-year-old Kenyan girl has won the Universal Postal Union’s 52nd International Letter-Writing Competition for Young People.

Claire managed to beat about 1.7 million entrants from 35 countries to clinch the prestigious award.

The competition involved writing a letter to someone explaining the superpowers they would need to achieve their mission of making roads safe for all children. 

The competition was organised in cooperation with the United Nations Road Safety Fund.

Runners Up and first runners up receiving awards during the international letter writing awards ceremony in Saudi Arabia



Claire received her prize in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Thursday during the closing ceremony of the United Postal Union (UPU) fourth Extraordinary Congress, and ahead of World Post Day.

Speaking at the ceremony, UPU Director General Masahiko Metoki said, “As many of our young writers highlighted, we cannot rely on supernatural powers to ensure safe roads.”

“Claire’s superpowers are, in fact, actions that even regular people can take. She highlights that, by working together with children through training and education, community engagement and policymaking, we can achieve our critical collective mission,” added Masahiko Mateko.

Describing her superpowers in her letter, Claire writes, “I will work hand in hand with road safety officers to train children on road usage and the purposes of pedestrian walkways. I will develop policies to protect children and ensure that they are properly displayed and implemented.”

“ I believe that if we all work together, we can make a  difference in the lives of children and help to prevent accidents on the road,” the letter further reads.

Second in the international competition was Matilde Magalhães Da Silva, 11, from Portugal.

Meanwhile, 12-year-old Dao Khuong Duy from Viet Nam won third prize. Special mentions were awarded to young writers from Brazil, Cyprus, India, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates.

The Universal Postal Union is a UN-specialized agency with its headquarters in the Swiss capital Berne. It was established in 1874, it is the forum for cooperation between postalthe  sector and helps to ensure a universal network of modern postal products and services.


Members of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) during a congress







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