In April, NCD Child launched a global art contest to promote adolescent voices through artistic expression. The contest aimed to bring awareness to how young people are affected by non-communicable diseases and to share their authentic messages with policy stakeholders on a global scale. The theme, a play on World Health Day, was Health For Youth = #HealthForAll.
Young people between the ages 12-21 from around the world were invited to submit their original artwork in two categories: Drawings and Videos. After receiving more than 60 inspiring entries from 25 countries, the following artists were selected as the finalists.
Permission is required to reproduce any of the NCD Child Global Art Contest images or video content. Please contact the NCD Child Secretariat for additional information.
1st Place Winner, Drawings/Art, 12-16 Age Group
Name: Ifrah K
Disease, the term itself brings a feeling of “dis-ease” to anyone and everyone.
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like heart diseases, chronic kidney or lung diseases, diabetes or Alzheimer’s increase both physical and mental trauma of the victim.
NCDs among youth nest a lot of worry, increase their anxiety and are very painful for the parents and the family. Nor can a country afford to let their youth suffer from NCDs.
I believe that the modern-day lifestyle is wholly and solely responsible for the growing number of NCD patients. Anxiety, hypertension, diabetes, and obesity are caused by an unhealthy lifestyle. There is a dire need to spread awareness through campaigns and street shows. Healthy lifestyle as a topic should be discussed among children in schools and at homes so that a clear message goes into the soft minds at an early age.
The outcome will be that they will stay away from alcohol, substance abuse and similar fatal habits. Including yoga and meditation as a part of daily regime can develop self control and help in keeping the body strong physically and mentally.
In the words of Pablo Picasso, “The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off your souls.”
I can feel and live art, therefore I firmly believe that each stroke holds emotions and can touch the core of every human heart. Art can sensitize people and can make them more sympathetic towards life and humanity. This is one medium which journeys through the eyes to the soul of every individual who has a bent towards art and aesthetics. It also is a medium to reduce stress, anxiety, depression and to relax the mind and soul.
I want to conclude with the words of Albert Einstein, “Creativity is contagious, pass it on.” Let the brushes do their work of spreading the hues of health, happiness, peace and love across countries and borders and let the art and artists connect globally and wage a campaign of harmony and wellbeing.
1st Place Winner, Drawings/Art, 17-21 Age Group
Name: Mehak D
The world health depends on the health of its youth. Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and other mental health risks can hinder what could be great prospects for development in all walks of life. Such diseases often are the reason why families are entrenched in poverty due to catastrophic expenditures for treatment.
Art is what makes us human. Awareness among the masses can be achieved by speaking in the language of Art – bringing the youth together to control and prevent the accelerating growth of NCDs. The common goal of art world wide is to communicate with the youth, nurturing them with a sense of belongingness and affiliation goes a long way in building steadfast future.
The process of bringing an artwork to life is a creative one, but art itself can also serve a purpose. It can be used as a way to raise awareness about issues that affect us in our daily lives. It is the force of expressions which bind people from across the world together. A piece of art contains more power that any number of words. It has the power to reach the illiterate and the under-privileged. The visual sensory creates lasting memories. Art, being a social culture, can be utilized to support the social concerns associated with NCDs.
NCD prevention is a choice; the youth today has fallen prey to a number of risk factors. Four particular behaviors (tobacco use, physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, and the harmful use of alcohol) lead to four key metabolic/physiological changes (raised blood pressure, overweight/obesity, raised blood glucose and raised cholesterol).
We often come across posters promoting physical activity, moral values and effects of alcohol and drug abuse. Not only does art help with spreading awareness about how we can cease such hazardous habits, it also helps in restoring the health of NCD and mental health patients.
Painting and sculpting help NCD patients. Art appreciation improves resilience to patients suffering from chronic health issues. Studies have shown that expressing themselves through art can help people with depression, anxiety, or cancer; doing so has been linked to improved memory, reasoning, and resilience in healthy older people.
Art competitions such as the NCD Child Global Art Contest can go a long way in sensitizing the world to such diseases. This global concern has given us the goal to prevent NCDs; healthcare for all is the need of this hour.
1st Place Winner, Videos, 12-16 Age Group
Name: Maaya G
Country: United States of America
Did you know that non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are the leading cause of death today? Nearly 71% of all deaths globally are caused by an NCD, which totals to about 41 million people per year. Naturally, you may ask, how can we change this? The short answer is: by targeting the cause. The fault of a majority of NCDs lay in our habits. While the short-term effects of smoking a cigarette, drinking a bottle of alcohol, or eating fast food may seem minuscule, the long-term effects are definitely not. It is too often that I see these “once in a blue moon” choices people make during their youth become lifelong habits. Unhealthy habits, like such, however, lead to an increased risk of contracting an NCD.
We live in an age where art no longer serves as mere decoration but, more importantly, as a statement. I personally believe art, in all its forms, has the potential to impact the world and its views. While a single video might not change everyone’s perspective, it might change a couple. Ultimately, it only takes one person to start a revolution and I’d like to be a part of it. Most people don’t realize the importance of health until they fall ill. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “The first wealth is health.” One’s health is truly a valuable gift. Avoid habits that put it at risk and remember to make the most of today because after all “you can’t recycle wasted time”.
Art is one of the creative mediums which can PLAY an important role in enlightening people. – Basundhara J, age 16, India
One of the most important things in life for every human being is to be and stay healthy. Unfortunately, nowadays it is not a simple task. – Blanka S, age 17, Hungary
By sharing art and creative messages of NCD prevention, we can raise awareness, influence choices, and save lives. – Sophie S, age 16, USA
Exercise, cleanliness, yoga, healthy food and environment, better technologies and fuel alternatives should be used for major development in prevention of NCDs. – Yash G, age 15, India
Armed with technology, youth have a lot to contribute to their own, their family’s and the community’s wellbeing. – Muskurahat B, age 17, India
The NCD Child Global Art Contest was made possible through a grant to NCD Child and the American Academy of Pediatrics from Novo Nordisk.
Centre for Global Child HealthThe Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids)525 University AvenueSuite 702Toronto, Ontario, CanadaM5G 2L3