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Pinner pupil scoops national Amnesty prize

Photograph available on request

A 14-year-old pupil from St Helen’s School in Northwood beat off competition from all across the UK to win a national design competition organised by Amnesty International.

As part of Amnesty International’s Speak Free education programme, schoolChildren's rights from across the country were asked to submit a sticker design to mark the human rights organisation’s 50th birthday – and Vicki Oyesola’s broken chain design came first out of 600 entrants.

Afterwards, Vicki said:

“I was completely shocked.  It was a big surprise. Our form tutor told us it was a really big competition. It was one of those things you do and do not expect to hear anything about afterwards. It was a big shock. I was speechless.”

She went on to explain why she had chosen her particular design:

“I wanted to draw something that would stand out, and that would catch people’s eyes. I was trying to think of something simple, and at the same time trying to capture what Amnesty International is. 

“Amnesty is an international organisation for human rights that tries to give everyone an equal chance of freedom and equal rights that everyone deserves.

“Normally chains are used to show people that are imprisoned or captured and how they are denied their human rights. I wanted to use the word freedom to break those chains.

“I then used the Amnesty candle in the word ‘freedom’, to make it clear that Amnesty International is what gives freedom.”

Carolyn Hill, the Middle School head at St Helen’s, added:

“The Amnesty International Group at St Helen’s has a long tradition of raising awareness of on-going human rights abuses and has an active involvement in campaigns. 

“Many girls in Year 9, studying human rights took the opportunity to enter the Amnesty sticker competition which was launched as part of Amnesty’s 50th Anniversary celebrations. 

“We are delighted that talented Art student Vicki Oyesola won the national competition and that her simple message of freedom will be used to promote the Amnesty message.”
Amnesty International’s Dan Jones, who presented Vicki with a specially-made framed version of the winning entry at her school, added:

“Vicki’s design was the judge’s unanimous choice. In a single striking image it captures the fundamental aim of Amnesty: to break the chains of human rights abuse.”

The first runner up was Keziah Cooper of Littleover Community School in Derby for her beautiful design and slogan, summing up Amnesty's 50 year history:  “One founder, fifty years, hundreds of campaigns, thousands of beneficiaries, millions of supporters.” 

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