"Draw your ideas with those letters." ~Hiba, age 16
Emerging Youth Voices
We love giving an opportunity to young people to tell their own stories — whether it's essays about their personal lives, creative short stories, or oral tales inherited from their elders. In the rural communities where we collaborate, young people are so rarely heard from. This program amplifies and elevates these unheard voices. When students can express themselves, their confidence, bravery, and mind blossom; and we've seen it happen many times. As Oliveseed Press, we publish student anthologies in printed books and in digital form to share freely with the world.
In Morocco, we have a nationwide Short Story Competition for young writers. We are expanding this initiative to Kenya and beyond.
TALES FROM A PANDEMIC
During Covid, students in the Maasai Mara were sequestered at home for 8 months, many in earthen homes without power or light. We invited students to write about their time at home, published a collection of their essays, and held an event in 2022 to honor the young writers.
Linda, age 13 from Aitong Primary School, being interviewed on national television at our Student Voices from Kenya event.
"It became a matter of survival for all of us."
ADVICE FOR YOUNG WRITERS
"What I’m going to say to all the people who want to write something and they still feel confused, just draw your ideas with those letters, because all that matters is that you put yourself in that text, and you put all the things that you feel and that you think about in those lines. So, what I’m going to say is, just keep writing and do whatever you want, because love and passion is all what makes us happy and proud of ourselves."
~ Hiba Bakertit, who placed 1st in our 2020 MLP Competition for her story told from the perspective of a boy with autism
Students in Kenya are reading stories written by their counterparts in Morocco! We do the same with all the books we publish: with the permission of the young writers and their teachers, we share their stories with others beyond their own borders.