Twelve-year-old Lupeoaunu’u Va’ai of Vaoala, Samoa won a Gold Medal award for her story ‘The Voice of an Island’ in the Voices of Future Generations Children’s Story Writing Competition last year.
This week, she is in London for the launch of her book, and as a Voices of Future Generations Child Author, she has committed to turning her book into a series, writing one story each year until 2020.
The 12-year-old says this is a dream come true.
“I am so happy; I never ever thought that something like this would happen to me,” said Lupeoaunu’u.
She was 11 when she entered in the 2015 competition, which called for stories from child authors from across the globe, winning a Gold Medal Award for her story centered on a young girl named Katalina.
The Voices of Future Generations Children’s Book Series is created in partnership with the United Nations and aims to share different voices from children around the world on the challenges they think they will face in the future, and the solutions they feel are within their reach.
Lupe, was one of two Pacific islanders awarded a gold medal from the Pacific islands. The other gold medalist was Tyra Sioni from Papua New Guinea.
“I was so surprised to know that I had won a gold medal for my book! I wrote this story on what I have felt, thought and heard from the stories from my great-grandmother, it was easy for me to write as it came from my heart,” said Lupe. ”
I hope people like it, and that we can learn from it and help save our Samoa and our planet.”
Lupe attends St Mary’s Primary School, she loves learning about the environment and has established an environmental group in her school.
This week, she is in London attending the Inter-generational Learning Circle on Inter-generational Equity, Children’s Rights and the Sustainable Development Goals .
Lupe will be launching her book as well as participating in panel and roundtable discussions, story sessions and an awards celebration evening.