USIU-Africa student bags prestigious One Belt One Road International English-Speaking contest award

Joy Michelle, an International Relations Senior beat a pool of over 300 candidates to emerge as the winner of the One Belt One Road International English-speaking contest.

By Dr. Quin Awuor & Ms. Moraa Joy Michelle

Moraa Joy Michelle, a student at USIU – Africa, has won the prestigious One Belt One Road International English-speaking contest award for 2020. The award was as a result of Ms. Moraa’s participation in the competitive Global Unitalks competition that took place in Hong Kong, China. Joy was shortlisted out of over 300 applicants and went head to head with other speakers and global contestants for the award. Upon her completion of her Global Unitalks International English – speaking competition journey, she was selected among the world’s top 6 English public speakers from over 1000+ young global competitors worldwide.

Speaking following her win, Ms. Moraa expressed her thrill at winning the competition, stating that her participation was based on a leap of faith.

“When I saw the Global Unitalks Competition poster doing rounds in online school groups, I decided to take a leap of faith and try it out. I was beyond thrilled when I saw that I had been shortlisted to take part in the competition and took my time to come up with speeches from the topics we had been given,” she said.

Recounting the day she was informed of her win, she recalled freezing in shock as she took in the news, saying, “I was in the middle of doing my school assignments when I got the call and quite literally froze at the reading table. I was stunned and blown away by the news and once the call ended I shared the news with my family and the house was filled with screams and cheers. It was an incredible feeling.”

Joy was also joined by 3 other public speakers from USIU – Africa, that is Ms. Lynda Muthama and Ms. Kinyua Grace, who had also been shortlisted in the initial stages of the competition and made it to the finals. Moraa explains how she and her colleagues supported each other, adding that it was teamwork that got them that far in the competition.

“We worked as a team. We supported and encouraged each other especially when we got anxious. It was a delight to have familiar faces in an online international contest.”

Ms. Moraa is a senior student pursuing International Relations with a concentration in Diplomacy and Foreign Policy and minoring in Peace and conflict studies and Gender studies. She has a passion for international law, international relations, human rights, policy making, youth advocacy, gender issues and other global matters and hopes to further her studies at Oxford University to pursue a Masters in Global Governance and Diplomacy. She is also very passionate about the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which saw her selected as a 2020 Millennium Fellow for the Millennium fellowship program under Millennium Campus Network (MCN) partnered with the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI).

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