First writing competition of the European Solidarity Corps on

First writing competition of the EUsolidaritycorps „Solidarity – define it“: Congratulations to …

… everyone who participated! The winners of the first writing competition are decided.  Find out who they are and what answer they found to the question “what does solidarity mean”?

The competition 2019

“Solidarity – define it!”

The competition’s focus was on a single question: “What is the definition of solidarity?”. The dictionary defines solidarity as “a union or fellowship arising from common responsibilities and interests, as between members of a group or between classes, peoples, etc.” and “it refers to the ties in a society that bind people together as one”. But what is the feeling of solidarity? Most people want to show solidarity but what does that mean exactly? In which situations do people experience this kind of feeling?

Stories, essays, letters and poems – the submissions were as diverse as the answers: prose as lyrical, fictional or biographical. It became clear that a definition is not easy as the dictionary wants to portray. A big Thank You to each participant and thank you for sharing your experiences with us and the world!

The winners

To select a winner from the 119 entries was a hard decision for the jury. Each text evoked a different feeling or a different thought. At the end, there was a colorful mixture of emotions. But which answers do the winners find to the question? Let’s find out!

1st place               Slavecia „Solidarity from Gdańsk“

Slavecia is from Poland and has participated in various EU-programs. Now, she is a mentor for a young volunteer in a EUsolidaritycorps project as well. Slavecia is interested in art, cultures and travelling. She is fighting for more tolerance in the world, especially against the stereotyping role of women. In her text, she draws a connection between her personal experience and recent political events. That way, she found her own definition of solidarity in Gdańsk. Congratulations for the first place!

2nd place              Oliver „Solidarität als Utopie“

Oliver is 26 years old, was raised in Essen, Germany, and now lives there with his own family. While studying at the university, he has followed up with European events frequently. He also experienced the different cultures of the continent while travelling. For him, Europe means “being together”. It is an opportunity to share knowledge with each other. His text deals with this “being together” in an united and a divided Europe. Is the concept of solidarity only a utopia?

3rd place              Jan „Solidarität ist Mitgefühl“/ Ein Brief von Lloyd O’Connor

Since the refugees-crisis and the Brexit, Jan has developed a huge awareness for European affairs. The 18-year old student from Gelsenkirchen, Germany, organizes panel discussions or attends pro-european events. He is also very interested in painting, writing and composing. His submission is a fictional letter which is full of thoughts, emotions and ideas of the sender.

4th place               Zhanna „solidarity starts with you“

Zhanna is 28 years old, born in Russia but currently living in Germany during her voluntary project with the EUsolidaritycorps. She is working at Auslandsgesellschaft e.V. Saxony-Anhalt, organizing language-cafés, information stands for the European Week or intercultural weeks. In her free-time, she enjoys hiking, reading biographies or studying languages. She writes for regularly.

The audience award goes to Albina’s text “ Homo homini lupus est?” who received 126 positive votes on our website. Congratulations!

Congratulations to all four of you and thank you to everyone who submitted a text! If you are curious to find out what others experienced while abroad, you can find all competition entries here.