With almost twenty pen pals in my lifetime, I do believe I am somewhat qualified to speak about letter writing. Sending out letters is like sending out a piece of yourself to someone. Receiving the letters back, is like receiving pieces of the letter writer. When they replied back, the magic was multiplied over. I would pick up the letters and read them in my room, giggling and totally bowled over to have gotten a reply.
I have had pen pals from all over the world: U.K., Europe, and even Botswana. I seem to have travelled to their counties by never leaving my own. That’s what letter writing does, it broadens one’s horizon and brings people closer.
Now we have become an electronic world, and receiving physical letters with stamps is called snail mail. But to me receiving a letter is a lot better than receiving an email, it is a personal touch. There is something about flipping through the pages of a letter, seeing someone’s handwriting and getting a glimpse of their mind on paper that makes all the difference.
The digital age has taken away all the essence of letter writing and I urge children to write, write and just for added emphasis write some more. Even if you write a letter to your parent who lives with you, or your grandparent who lives far away. There will always be something special about buying stamps, the designs that the post office has are also so beautiful so you will be spoiled for choice.
Strangers make the best pen pals because you have nothing to lose, and everything to gain. At the end of the day you will always have those letters and see how far the friendship has come. That is the beauty of Letter Writing.
Joys of Letter Writing
- * It creates a beautiful friendship
- * You are able to express yourself. Sometimes even share what you never thought was possible.
- * You are able to refine your language skills and improve vocabulary.
- * You see the world through other people’s eyes. Imagine places that you have never seen.
- * There is something special about receiving letters that never gets old. The letters become a keepsake for life.
The Botswana Post Office, an affiliate of the Universal Post Union (UPU) has released the annual letter writing competition. This is the 48th instalment of the competition since inception. The UPU’s primary goal with this competition is, “To advance global literacy and education amongst young people.” Each year a new theme is announced. 2019 Theme: Write about your Hero.
How It Works
There are two categories: National and International.
Botswana Post accepts entries within Botswana for students from Primary school up till Junior school. The age limit is 15 years. This form also requires the school to help their students participate and help them in filling the entry form. The entry form can be downloaded from the Botswana Office website at: https://www.botspost.co.bw/upu-international-letter-writing-competition-entry-form but if you do not have the resources you can go to the nearest Botswana post office and request the form.
The schools submit the letters and the entry forms, enclosed in an envelope at your nearest Botswana post office. All schools that have not yet received letters of participation and announcement of the competition are encouraged to get in touch with their nearest Botswana post office.
Deadline: 5th April 2019. After deadline is past, Botswana post office will review all the entries then a national winner will be selected, and submit their name and letter for the International Level.
The prizes are awarded to the top three schools and their students. The Botswana post office prizes are;
First Prize – P15 000
Second Prize – P10 000
Third Prize – P5 000
The Botswana post office and all other post offices across the world will then submit their national winners’ entries to the UPU. They will be reviewed and the UPU will pick the International winners, and those entries who will be worthy of a special mention.
So go on and encourage your child, niece, nephew, grandchild and even your neighbour’s child to submit their letter. Let’s make letter writing fun and cool again! We spoke to Ms. Refilwe Matebejana from the Botswana Post who had the following to say to all potential entries: “As many schools are encouraged to participate as this competition improves students’ literacy through the art of letter writing. It allows them to express their creativity and refine their language skills.”