With bad news dominating the headlines you might be forgiven for thinking there is little to celebrate in Northern Ireland.
But 12 inspiring schoolchildren have shown they know better. Their artwork and stories have been included in a new book promoting what is best about our province.
The NI Tourist Board publication My NI is a pocket-sized love story for our special part of the world and celebrates our food, arts, landscapes, heritage and people to be proud of.
Around 600 children entered the Belfast Telegraph Newspapers in Education competition for a chance to be included in the book and 12 winners were picked.
This week at the Ulster Museum Jennifer O’Reilly, from Belfast Telegraph Newspapers in Education, and Eimear Callaghan, from NITB, presented them with their framed artwork, a copy of My NI and a festive hamper full of goodies.
Ms O'Reilly said: “It is obvious from the quality of the entries for the My NI project that both teachers and pupils put a lot of thought and effort into producing such excellent work. The competition seems to have inspired the children to take a closer look at where they live, the result being stories and artwork bursting with pride. Well done to them all.”
Ms Callaghan said: “The My NI publication, first produced in 2009, has proven to be very popular and as 2012 was such a special year for Northern Ireland the extra chapter dedicated to the younger generation was added. The pupils were so enthusiastic and painted Northern Ireland as a wonderful place to live and play.
“They showed great passion for their local areas.”
- The first 1,500 people to email firstname.lastname@example.org including your name, address and reason why you would like to own a copy of My NI 2012, will receive a free copy of the book through the post.