Barclays is sponsoring UK newspaper The Guardian’s International Development Journalism Competition, in line with its commitment to raising awareness of global development issues.
Amateur and professional journalists are invited to write articles on themes including youth unemployment, empowering women and the role of the private sector in development.
Four shortlisted writers will spend time visiting projects run by charities CARE and Plan. The organisations work in partnership with Barclays on the Banking on Change programme, which aims to improve the quality of life for around 400,000 people worldwide by developing and extending access to basic banking services.
The group will be among 16 finalists to win an opportunity to travel to Africa or Asia, where they can report on development issues first-hand.
All finalists’ work will later be published in two special supplements in The Guardian, and on the newspaper’s website www.guardian.co.uk.
“Development is often sidelined by more attention-grabbing headlines,” said Dana Hovig, CEO of Marie Stopes International, a health charity which co-founded the competition in 2008.
“This initiative offers a unique opportunity for journalists to bring international development stories to life and put them back on the news agenda.
“The standard of entries to the competition is always incredibly high and we are really looking forward to seeing what this year’s entries bring.”
Paulette Cohen, Associate Director, Barclays Global Community Investment, added: “Last year, Barclays supported more than 1.5 million people living in some of the world’s poorest communities through our global community investment programmes.
“We believe this competition plays an important role in raising awareness of some major development issues and we are delighted to support The Guardian in this initiative.”
Barclays also partners The Guardian and AMREF (African Medical and Research Foundation) in a project focusing on 66 villages across the Katine region of eastern Uganda, which aims to provide improved water, sanitation and hygiene practices, improved health and education services, and sustainable economic development.
Barclays community investment programme last year invested £55.3m around the world and the time and skills of 62,118 employees to support disadvantaged communities reaching more than 1.5 million people.