Congratulations to Ritisha who made a guest appearance as the speaker and prize-giver at the Final of the UK Junior Language Challenge. Ritisha won the competition in 2016 and was invited to return this year to give a speech about her unforgettable prize – a trip to Africa. 

“As soon as I woke up on Friday the 13th of October, I knew that there was an adventure round the corner! Yes, the day had come for me to give my speech at the Junior Language Challenge final in London.

As some of you will know I won the UK National Junior Language Challenge in 2016, so there I was in London to share my wonderful experience of Africa with the finalists of 2017. After greeting familiar faces from last year, I was asked to give my speech!

Firstly I explained to the gaping crowd of 100, that I went to Africa in July earlier in the year and our first destination was Zimbabwe. We had a brilliant time there exploring the Victoria Falls from both helicopter and a walking tour. It was just surreal to see the waters flaunting their milky-white crests and a swirling mist emanating from the gorges into the azure sky and getting captivated as a memory in my heart forever.

Then I moved onto talking about Maasai Mara in the east of Kenya, our second destination. Getting up at the break of dawn, having breakfast watched over by long-necked giraffes and barrel-shaped hippos, being at an arm’s length from the royal lions and watching the migration of wildebeests and zebras was an experience of inexplicable beauty.

Last but definitely not the least, I moved on to talking about Malawi, our main reason for visiting Africa. Here we saw the enthusiastic children of the Biwi Lea School in Lilongwe, Malawi learning how to use iPads to develop their education. They were intently working out sums and puzzles in their own language, Chichewa. It was interesting to see how different our own lives are to theirs.

Then, I showed them an iMovie I made to sum up my experience in Africa.

Giving my speech was a wonderful experience which was so different to any other experience I have had so far. I hope I will be able to give more speeches in the future! I also had the honour to distribute the prize to all the finalists and winners. An unforgettable experience indeed……….”

Ritisha Baidyaray


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