Schoolchildren who used the power of music to highlight the plight of child soldiers around the globe have scooped a prestigious award.
A trio of pupils from Kingsley Academy, in Hounslow, won the songwriting category of Amnesty International's Youth Awards, helf last Wednesday (April 30).
Katie Jacinto, 14, Tusmeea Ahmed, also 14, and Ninamma Subba, 13, were presented with their award by The Specials songwriter Jerry Dammers, who penned the apartheid protest anthem Free Nelson Mandela.
Their song focused on the traumatic experiences of child soldiers in Sierra Leone, who were recruited during the bloody civil war which raged there during the 90s, in which at least 50,000 people are estimated to have been killed.
Miss Jacinto said: “We're so shocked. My heart hasn't stopped pounding since we got off stage. Our piece focussed on the issue of child soldiers and it's really important to remember that this isn't a historic problem. Child soldiers still exist in the world and I hope our piece reminds people of that fact."
Another Kingsley Academy student, 14-year-old Anissa Ghazi, also made the final three in the songwriting competition, with a composition about racism.
More than 7,000 people from across the UK entered this year's Amnesty Youth Awards, which also included prizes for the best young reporter and photographer.