Prince Albert II of Monaco presented awards of Francophone writing contest Aux Coeurs des Mots “Spotlight on Women”

A very moving awards ceremony 

A very moving prize ceremony culminated the 2nd edition of the francophone writing contest Aux Coeurs des Mots, “Femmes en Lumière” (Spotlight on Women) on Friday, October 20, 2017 at the Lycée Hôtelier et Technique in Monte-Carlo, Monaco, in the presence and Under the High Patronage of H.S.H. Prince Albert II, and Under the High Patronage of Michelle Jean, General Secretary of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, who gave a video presentation. The event took place in the presence of important personalities from Monaco and abroad, notably Patrice Cellario, Minister of Interior and Culture of Monaco; Isabelle Bonnal, Director of National Education, Youth and Sports of Monaco; H.E. Marine de Carne de Trecesson, Ambassador of France in Monaco; Nicole Barbin, President of Femmes Leaders Mondiales, just to name a few; plus a cast of prestigious jury members, Government authorities, diplomatic and consular corps, as well as partners of Aux Cœurs des Mots, and distinguished personalities from the economic, sportive and cultural sectors.

Prince Albert II made a brief discourse to confirm the importance he gives to this initiative that creates awareness about respect for human rights and gender equality. The Sovereign emphasized that Aux Coeurs des Mots has grown, gained its own identity, and is ready to extend its wings, to become independent to enlarge its horizons throughout the world. He added he is confident that the contest founder and president will do whatever is necessary to make this a reality. The Prince did the honors of presenting the awards, created by Valentina de Gaspari, to the laureates, accompanied by Fawzia Zouari, President of the Jury, and Hilde Haneuse Heye, Founder and President of Aux Coeurs des Mots.

Watch the prize ceremony in MonacoInfo

Laureates from schools from Togo, Burundi, Iran, Benin, Lebanon, Algeria & France

The laureates of the 2nd edition of the concours Aux Cœurs des Mots are from schools in Togo, Burundi, Iran, Benin and Lebanon, plus a coup de coeur for Algeria and a special mention for France.

  • First Prize: Portrait of Bessi Kama « Le saut de l’espoir », Collège du Littoral, Lomé, Togo
  • Second Prize: Portrait of Christine Ntahe « Maman Dimanche », Lycée du Saint-Esprit, Bujumbura, Burundi
  • Third Prize:  Portrait of Zahra Rahimi « Zahra si connue, si méconnue », Ecole Shahid Mahdavi, Téhéran, Iran and Portrait of Sidonie Amoussou« Une vie un combat pour une jeune affranchie », Complexe Scolaire La Rosette, Porto-Novo, Benin (Ex-aequo)
  • Fourth Prize: Portrait of Nada Moghaizel-Nasr « Une militante d’exception », Ecole Sainte Famille Française, Jounieh, Lebanon
  • Coup de Cœur de la Commission Aux Cœurs des Mots – Portrait of Djoher Amhis « La Gardienne du Temple », Lycée International Alexandre Dumas, Alger, Algeria
  • Special Mention – Portrait of Marina Gahama « Un grain de sable », Collège Maurice, Nice, France

Writing contest as a means to end discrimination and change mentalities

Bank-Ki-Moon, the 8th General Secretary of the United Nations from 2007 to 2016, declared: “The respect for human rights and gender equality are not unattainable. However, women and girls around the world must still face inequality and discrimination.” After an original idea launched by Hilde Haneuse Heye, Founder and former President of Femmes Leaders Mondiales Monaco association (Chantal Ravera is the current President of FLMM), the first writing contest Aux Coeurs des Mots, les enfants du monde racontent (children of the world tell their story), was created in 2012 with the participation of 24 countries in 4 continents.

Thanks to the success of the first contest the organizers decided to launch the 2nd edition Aux Coeurs des Mots, Femmes en Lumière (Spotlight on Women) in 2016, with the participation of students from 26 countries in 4 continents: Algeria, Belgium, Benin, Bulgaria, Burundi, Canada, Central Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, France, Germany, Iran, Lebanon, Madagascar, Mexico, Moldavia, Monaco, Poland, Rumania, Russia, Rwanda, Senegal, Togo, Tunisia, United States and Uruguay.

The students wrote portraits about women who made a notable impact in society by succeeding in meeting difficult challenges, thus putting the spotlight on women who often work discreetly in the shadows. The participating multilingual youngsters from different nationalities and diverse backgrounds but with the French language in common, were able to exchange and confront their visions over and above cultural differences, so that the contest Aux Coeurs des Mots becomes a communication link without frontiers, where young people contribute to the dialogue between cultures, bringing awareness on gender equality, one of the objectives of the universal declaration of human rights of the United Nations Organization.

The leitmotiv of this francophone contest is to integrate youth in the important discussion of girls-boys rights to end discrimination, changing mentalities through education and not by vindication, by addressing all girls and boys of the world together, within their classes, with their French teacher to take an active stand for this noble cause, making the contest a valuable means of expression.

Prestigious Jury

For this new edition the organizers counted again with an international jury presided by writer and journalist Fawzia Zouari, Doctor in French and comparative literature in the Sorbonne. The Jury is composed of prestigious members coming from different horizons: The producer, presenter and cameraman Antoine de Maximy, the writer Camille de Peretti de la Rocca, the founder of the Association de Chefs d’entreprise in Algeria SEVE working to support female entrepreneurship Yasmina Taya, the celebrated Lebanese journalist May Chidiac, the former model and philanthropist Adriana Karembeu, the famous French Rugby player Thierry Dusautoir, the aviatrix and multiple world champion in aerobatics Catherine Maunoury, the well known musician Aldo Romano, the presenter and TV show woman Denise Fabre, the former F1 pilot Philippe Streiff, and the Franco-Algerian author and screenwriter Akli Tadjer. (Photo below:HSH Prince Albert II with Denise Fabre, Fawzia Zouari, Yasmina Taya, CAmille de Peretti de la Rocca, May Chidiac, Akli Tadjer, Antoine de Maximy and Adriana Karembeu @valentina de gaspari)

Loyal sponsors and donors

The contest Aux Coeur des Mots, Femmes en Lumiere, was made possible thanks to the generous participation of: Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, the Monaco Government, FLM, Algiz Security, Bluewave Software, Agence Continentale, Children & Future, Colibri, Gastaldi Monaco, Le Temps Presse, NOEVA, Oodrive, Sonema, Vcomk Consulting, and anonymous donors.

To be continued…

After another successful 2nd edition of Aux Coeurs des Mots, the founder and her team have already started to work in the planning of the 3rd edition where the theme will be unveiled in the near future, as well as the road to follow for the official creation of an association totally dedicated to the contest.

(Photo above: Prince Albert II with Hilde Heneuse Heye and the team of Aux Coeurs des Mots @Alberto Colman)

Today’s Quote

“How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!” Maya Angelou

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