Grade 9 student wins award for short story | Aga Khan Academies

Grade 9 student wins award for short story

20 November 2023

Areebah Ahsan has been selected as a winner of the “Children and Youth Challenge” from the Commonwealth Sustainable Energy Transition (CSET). The Grade 9 student at the Aga Khan Academy Dhaka triumphed in the “Category A” short story writing competition, where she wrote a moving piece about the creative use of sustainable energy in her community.

The Children and Youth Challenge aims to inspire young minds aged 7 to 17 years old globally to share ideas about producing and using energy responsibly. The initiative is working to ensure everyone gets clean, sustainable and affordable power by 2030. Ideal entries will have the opportunity to present their ideas to panels consisting of policymakers, technical experts and youth leaders in the sustainable energy field, with a chance to put these ideas into action. 

“Tragedy to Triumph”, the story Areebah submitted in the competition, focuses on how a community and a mother overcame a perilous fate by adapting renewable and clean energy. Fuel, a scarce resource in the hard-to-reach communities of Bangladesh, is crucial in every aspect of life, especially for food preparation. Areebah conveyed the emotional phenomenon of a mother, who lost her child in a pond while searching for firewood. The moving story, with a necessary call-to-action for a sustainable future, surely intrigues readers to rethink the use of fossil fuels with much scrutiny.

“Participating in this competition was truly enlightening,” Areebah said. “Our daily usage of energy profoundly impacts the planet. This insight motivated me to uncover examples of local initiatives taken in Bangladesh to address this issue. Driven by my passion for sustainable energy, I delved into the introduction of biogas in Daria Nagar, Cox’s Bazar, through the organisation Community Partners International (CPI). They presented the idea of ‘Cooking with Biogas’, an initiative to give rural communities, like Daria Nagar, a safer and more sustainable cooking alternative. Winning this award is a personal achievement and a small step towards a cleaner, better world for us all.” 

Areebah expresses her gratitude to the educators and coordinators at the Academy in Dhaka who have supported her in her journey.       

“Areebah, like many other students at the Academy, is sincerely motivated to achieve more for her and her community,” said Middle Years Programme Coordinator Ira Srivastav. “The core of the IB curriculum inspires students to do wonderful things for the world. We are working to ensure students get an ethical base to build on that and help themselves and the people around them.”       

To read Areebah’s short story, click here.