Children with ideas on how to effectively prevent bullying in school can illustrate them and win valuable prizes and awards.

The opportunity to do so comes in the form of a poster competition sponsored by the Barbados Government Information Service (BGIS) and the United Nations??? Children Fund (UNICEF).

While the overall theme is Stop Bullying in our Schools, the topic for the poster competition is: Bullying is everybody???s problem. How can you prevent it, detect it or report it?

The goal of the competition is to deepen children and adolescent???s knowledge of bullying; empower them and their peers to address the issue, and to provide avenues for them to express themselves about bullying as it confronts them. It is also expected to lead to the creation of advocacy material (posters) to raise awareness about the severity and implications of the issue.

Bullying can affect everyone ??? those who are bullied, those who bully, and those who witness bullying. Bullying is linked to many negative outcomes including impacts on mental health, substance use, and in some extreme cases may lead to suicide.

According to UNICEF: ???Children who are bullied are likely to experience depression and anxiety, increased feelings of sadness and loneliness, changes in sleep and eating patterns and loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy.???

UNICEF further noted that: ???These issues may persist into adulthood. The effects can also be manifested in health complaints and decreased academic achievement. Both bullied children and those who bully are also more likely to miss, skip, or drop out of school.???

The BGIS/UNICEF competition targets both primary and secondary schools. At the primary school level, Classes 1 and 2; and Classes 3 and 4, while at the secondary level, First to Third Formers; and Fourth to Fifth Formers are invited to participate.

The competition will run from Tuesday, October 1, to Friday, November 8, with judging scheduled to take place from Monday, November 11, to Friday, November 15.

Prizes will be awarded on Friday, December 6, 2013.

For further information, parents, teachers and students should contact Marketing Officer, Ronny Yearwood at 426-2232/42 or via email at

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