Archive for the ‘Latest Competition News’ Category

Me and My Net Winner’s Reflections

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Fifteen year old Siya Kulkarni, from India, was the winner of the 2011 Me and My Net competition. Her prize was a packed visit to London, during Commonwealth Week 2012. Below, Siya reflects on her experiences during the week and how it has had an impact on her understanding of the global challenge of malaria:

The week of March 10th-15th was an exciting yet enriching experience for me. It all started of with my winning the Me And My Net competition, and receiving the news this January about a trip to London. I was thrilled to bits, because my trip was to be scheduled around Commonwealth Day, celebrated on March 12th, and I was to be a flag bearer for my country, India, at the Observance at Westminster Abbey. I’d also be presenting my winning entry, a campaign that targeted children to raise awareness about using nets to prevent malaria.

Siya presenting at the Commonwealth Nurses Conference

Siya presenting at the Commonwealth Nurses Conference

March 11th was the beginning of an eventful week. This was the day I was to present my campaign at the Commonwealth Nurses Conference, and although I was awfully edgy about how it would go, the nurses made me feel so at-home that I didn’t worry about muddling my speech.
The next day was the focus of my week, something I’d been looking forward to: the Commonwealth Day Observance. For me this was a great platform for interacting with different people. Of course, the most exciting part of the day was seeing Her Majesty The Queen! All of us were thrilled when she passed by us, and it was, undeniably, a memorable day.

Siya with the Malaria No More UK team
Siya with the Malaria No More UK team

The day after Commonwealth day was going to be chock-a-block again. I was scheduled to visit the Malaria No More office to discuss my campaign in the morning. I was amazed by how creative campaigns could get in terms of raising awareness, when I heard about their campaigns. After a tête-à-tête with the team, we left for The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to visit their insectaries, where we were taken through small “caves” where the malaria-spreading insects were bred. It was fascinating to see the variety of mosquito species from different parts of the world. That evening, I presented my campaign once more, this time to people from Sumitomo Chemical, representatives from malaria and education organisations and two nurses from the Nurses Conference. I enjoyed talking to everyone there. That day, despite being tiring, was extremely fruitful.

Siya with her winning campaign
Siya with her winning campaign

The RCS had organized a tour of the Houses of Parliament the following morning through the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK, and I had the opportunity to witness the Prime Minister’s Question Time. Although the Prime Minister was overseas at the time, we watched the Deputy Prime Minister battle with the questions.

Looking back at my week in London, I feel a sense of achievement I have never felt before. This was an experience I would cherish forever, because I learnt so much, and enjoyed myself thoroughly. I felt more confident, more aware and humbled after discovering how little I knew about other Commonwealth nations, and what a serious problem malaria is. Right from the time I started working on this competition, till the end of my week in London, I have had a series of experiences that I hope will make me into a more mature and broad-minded person. I sincerely thank the RCS for giving me such a wonderful learning opportunity.

Take a look at how Siya got involved in the competition and developed her campaign by downloading her presentation and check out all the Me and My Net winning entries.

Me and My Net Winner’s Week, 10-15 March 2012

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Me and My Net Wrap-up Event
Me and My Net Wrap-up Event: l-r Dr Danny Sriskandarajah, Royal Commonwealth Society; Siya Kulkarni, Winner Me and My Net 2011; Adam Flynn, Sumitomo Chemical, in front of some of the entries

Fifteen year old Siya Kulkarni, from India, was in London for Commonwealth Week 2012, as her prize as the Winner of Me and My Net 2011, supported by Sumitomo Chemical’s Olyset Net.

During the week, Siya represented her country by carrying the Indian flag at the Commonwealth Day Observance at Westminster Abbey.  She also visited Malaria No More UK, to find out about their malaria awareness campaigns, and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) to see the insectaries and hear about the scientific work around malaria prevention.  With thanks to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK, Siya also had the opportunity to tour the Houses of Parliament and witness Prime Minister’s Question Time in the House of Commons.

Siya presented her winning campaign to the Commonwealth Nurses Conference, which was attended by nearly 200 delegates from 27 Commonwealth countries.  She also presented at a Me and My Net reception for the malaria community in London.  She said: “Although I come from India I was very ignorant about the impact that malaria has upon people in affected areas and was shocked by the scale of the problem. I was also struck by how easy it is to protect people with a net as opposed to using sprays or drugs. It is such a simple solution and yet, as a young person, I also know that we do not like being told what to do. I knew that my campaign had to find incentives for young people as a way to engage with them and encourage them to use their nets.

“I decided to split my Kids for Nets campaign to appeal to two age groups and used rhymes and the idea of decorating their nets to engage the 4-10 year-olds; whilst I wanted to show the young adult 11-15 year-olds that their future health and, therefore, their dreams for their future could be threatened.”

The Commonwealth Nurses Federation made a donation to Siya, which will be used to purchase Olyset Nets for distribution in Tanzania.

See Siya’s winning entry, and other award winners, at

Me and My Net winners announced

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Fifteen year old Siya Kulkarni, from Pune, India, has been announced as the winner of the ‘Me and My Net’ Competition, organised by the Royal Commonwealth Society.

Winning first prize from more than 2000 entries, Siya was unanimously praised by the judges for her well-thought out campaign, “Nets for a Better Life”, which detailed activities for schools to undertake with their students, in order to encourage positive behaviour change.

Young people from 25 Commonwealth countries participated in the competition which was launched to provide young people with a way to share their attitudes towards, and awareness of, malaria. Entrants were invited to submit creative ways of encouraging their peers to use bed nets correctly. Information from the entries will be used to help shape future malaria education campaigns.

Adam Flynn, Sumitomo Chemical, was one of the competition judges. He said: “First and foremost, I was struck by the sheer quality of the entries, many of which contained the entrants’ personal experiences of malaria which so obviously shaped the pictures, stories, photos and heart-felt essays. Perhaps more importantly I was greatly encouraged by the level of awareness and understanding of malaria and how it could impact on their futures.”

See the full list of prize and certificate winners at

Competition Deadline Extended

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

We have been thrilled to receive so many excellent entries into the Me and My Net Competition.  Due to popular demand, the deadline for entries into the competition has been extended to Friday 28 October 2011.

Remember, you can enter the competition in three ways:

1. Get Writing!
Imagine that you have a cousin who lives in a town where malaria is common.  Although she has been given a mosquito net to protect her from the disease, she doesn’t always use it. What do you think of her decision? Write her a letter to share your views.

2. Get Photographing! Get Drawing!
Take a photograph – or draw a picture – of you or a friend with a mosquito net.  Tell us a little about the picture and the net in it.

3. Get Creative!
Think of a way to teach other young people the importance of using a mosquito net to prevent malaria. You could:
- Make an eye-catching poster
- Create a memorable radio or TV advert
- Describe your own idea for an advertising campaign

You could win an exciting prize, with the overall winner being flown to London for the Commonwealth Day Observance in March 2012.  You can enter each of the sections of the competition once, so if you have already submitted a photo, you can still enter a letter and a campaign!  Find out more about how to enter, and share with us your views on malaria here.

Looking to promote the competition in your school or organisation?  Download the Me and My Net Flyer.

Malaria Youth Summits in East Africa

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

In July, the RCS Me and My Net team was in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to run two events for students in each city.

Both the events were big successes, and everyone in attendance was impressed by the students’ passion for preventing malaria in their countries.  Overall, the events reached over 100 students aged 12-16.

In Nairobi, students learnt more about malaria from PSI Kenya, and also demonstrated how to correctly hang a mosquito net.  Following this, the participants split into small groups to discuss the challenges malaria poses and the solutions which government and young people can offer, facilitated by Cosmos Education.  Representatives from each group then presented back to the others.  You can see the summary of these discussions in the Me and My Net Nairobi Communique.  After lunch, the groups designed creative campaigns to promote malaria prevention, which they presented to invited guests, including HE Charles Mogotsi, Botswanan High Commissioner to Kenya, and Dean of Commonwealth High Commissions in Nairobi.

In Dar es Salaam, students were delighted with a performance by Malaria Goodwill Ambassadors from Tanzania House of Talent, and also a talk by popular hip hop star, Fid Q, on his experiences in speaking to malaria-affected communities in Tanzania.  Students took part in a panel discussion, with representatives from the Ministry of Health and Social Care’s NATNETS programme, PSI Tanzania and COMMIT.  They then watched the Tanzanian film, Chumo, which was produced with the support of COMMIT and Johns Hopkins University.  In the afternoon, a creative workshop was facilitated by READ International, and campaigns designed were presented to guests, including the British Deputy High Commissioner in Tanzania, Susie Kitchens.

All the campaigns produced in the two events will be entered into the Me and My Net competition.  Find out how you can take part here.

The RCS is thankful to all the schools, students and teachers who attended, and its partners in each city for their support -

In Nairobi: Malezi School, Cosmos Education and PSI Kenya
In Dar es Salaam: the British High Commission, the British Council, Tanzania House of Talent, READ International, COMMIT, the Ministry of Health and Social Care’s NATNETS programme, PSI Tanzania, DFID.

See the photos from the two events below:


Dar es Salaam:

Malaria Teaching Materials Now Available!

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Download the Malaria Lesson Plan and raise awareness among your students about malaria in the Commonwealth.  You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader for this file, which is 2MB in size.

If you have problems downloading the file, please contact us at

The Malaria Lesson Plan is designed for students aged 14-18, but can be adapted for younger age groups.

Interested in more Commonwealth teaching resources?

Check out our brand new resource pack, Antigua to Zambia: Getting to Know Your Commonwealth, available to view online at  You can also contact us at to request a hard copy, which comes with a DVD complete with all materials.

Me and My Net Goes Live!

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Today sees the Me and My Net website go live, and the launch of a new creative competition.

Me and My Net calls on young people from all over the world to engage with the fight against malaria in a positive and creative way. You have until 30 September 2011 to get writing, photographing, drawing, filming and recording! Check out our Competition section for more info on how you can get involved, and be sure to stay glued to ‘News and Views’.

If you have any questions, drop us an email at