ATHENS -- A young Greek student who won a prize in an international competition was received on Monday by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who told him "you have made us proud."
Dimosthenis-Dimitrios Despotidis won the first prize in poetry the Never Such Innocence charity's competition on the impact of conflict on communities, in the category of 11- to 14-year-olds.
The organization received 4,003 entries from school-age children from over 40 countries including United States and Canada.
Despotidis was one of four prize-winning Greek entries. The other three recipients include Vladislav Krasilnikov (General category, 2nd, Song, Ages 16-18), Mary Bournazou (1st, Poetry, Ages 9-11) and Rafael Parlapanis (1st, Speech, Ages 9-11). Despotidis won in the division "Bonus Strand, A Fight for Freedom", and Bournazou and Parlapanis in the division "Bonus Strand 75".
According to the charity, its aim is "to give children and young people across the world a voice on conflict," and to "reflect on conflict throughout history and today through poetry, art, speech and song."
The charity began as a First World War commemoration project for children and young people. Inspired by this conflict, more than 11,000 young people from 47 different countries, territories and dependencies created poetry, artwork, and songs. It said that "from 2019 we are expanding our focus to include conflict in all forms and throughout history, up to and including the present day. This includes conflicts at community-level such as knife crime and gang violence."