About the Festival

Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) affect over 1.7 billion people. Over a billion of those people are children. The effects of NTDs are devastating: they prevent children from being able to go to school and from playing with their friends; they impair children’s cognitive and physical development. A child may contract an NTD at an early age, but the effects of that disease could last a lifetime. But rather than have their lives determined by NTDs, young people around the world are fighting back. By uniting together and using the power of their collective voice, young people are sharing their stories to demand action is taken to beat NTDs.

The Youth Story-telling competition is a drum-beat to the Kigali Summit on Malaria and NTDs as part of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in June and will help galvanise global support for NTDs that will culminate into tangible commitments from countries that will be announced on the stage in Rwanda.

A gallery for young people to share their stories

Stories help us connect with our culture, our history and our identities. Stories are passed from generation to generation, from country to country and from family to family. Stories help define who we are and what we stand for. Recognizing the value of storytelling, Uniting to Combat NTDs and Youth Combating NTDs and supported by the Crown Prince Court of Abu Dhabi – is providing young people with the space to tell their stories: a virtual art gallery.

Fighting NTDs means achieving UHC to me. Knowing that I was part of a journey towards the total eradication of a global canker is a major achievement and life-fulfilling task for me, knowing that in my generation, I reached out to the poor and helped make some global impact from my own small contribution.

– Nzeribe Emmanuella

Power of Storytelling festival

The opening of the virtual gallery will kickstart a weeklong art festival, where we will be exhibiting artwork that has been submitted by young people from all over the world. In early December, we launched a storytelling competition and encouraged young people to share their stories and experiences about NTDs. The response was overwhelming:

Over 400 eligible entries from
39 different countries around the world

Entries were submitted over four different categories: audio, digital, text, and film, and participants are competing for a cash prize of up to $2,500 USD. Judges were so impressed with the standard of competition, that we decided to showcase submissions in a virtual art gallery and to host a week-long, storytelling festival – The Power of – from 1 April – 8 April.

Brought to you by

Meet the Jurors

Commissioner for Education, Science, Technology and Innovation African Union

Founder of Drue Kataoka Studios, Artist & Technologist

Comedian, TEDx Speaker and Speaking Coach

Film maker and sound editor

Goalkeeper: Global Goals Ambassador, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Life President, Comic Relief and Chair, zero30media

Founder, Undiscovered Canvass

Chairman, Channels Media Group and Chief Executive Officer, Channels Television

Co-Director, Global Health Academy, University of Edinburgh

Awards Ceremony

And, on 8 April, join us for an awards ceremony, where prizes worth US$20,000 will be given to the artists of the standout pieces of art across four categories: spoken word, digital, video and written word.

Partners & Supporters

Get involved

Help spread the word about the art festival with your friends and family by sharing on social media. Download the social medial toolkit and assets by clicking the button below.

Help to spread the word about the gallery with your friends and family by sharing the below posters on social media.
Interested in signing up as a partner? Email us at info@unitingtocombatntds.org