ST PHILOMENA'S National School has been named a regional finalist in the prestigious annual Our World Irish Aid Awards, which is the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s flagship global citizenship programme for primary schools.
Pupils and teachers from St Philomena’s showcased their project alongside those from 14 other schools across the region at the regional final event at Mary Immaculate College, Limerick.
Under the supervision of teacher Grainne Higgins, pupils from 6th class organised a food drive to help achieve Global Goals 2 and 12 (Zero Hunger, Responsible Consumption and Production). The pupils engaged the public in terms of food donations and advertised the food drive on local radio.
The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney, T.D., stated: “It is great to see young pupils thinking about and acting on the hard issues that affect us all, but have a most devastating impact on those living in developing countries.”
Congratulating the teachers and pupils at St Philomena’s National School on making it to the Limerick regional final, Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Ciarán Cannon T.D., said that the standard of project entries this year had been exceptionally high.
“My warmest congratulations go to the teachers and pupils at St Philomena’s National School on being named regional finalists,” he said.
“Hundreds of primary school pupils across Ireland took part in the awards, learning that each and every one of the world’s 7.6 billion people counts equally and how they, as global citizens, can make a tangible difference to the lives of others in developing countries. In particular, they have been learning about an Irish Aid supported project in the northern highlands of Tanzania, Dunia Designs, which is run by Irish expats Evanna Lyons and Alexis Cronin as an example of an eco-friendly enterprise that diverts and reuses waste to create furniture and provide an opportunity for local families to earn an income.”
Now in their 14th year, the Awards invited children across Ireland to create projects about the challenges facing children in developing countries and the role played by Ireland, through Irish Aid, the Government’s programme for international development.
This year primary schools across the country have been exploring the theme of ‘Leave No One Behind’ which recognises that each and every person counts and deserves a fair opportunity, regardless of who they are and where they live, giving pupils from across the island of Ireland a unique opportunity to gain an insight into the lives of children in developing countries and to understand that, while we may live thousands of miles away from our Irish Aid partner countries, the way we live our lives makes a difference to theirs.
Each entry was assessed on its creativity, understanding of the theme and its impact. All 15 schools in the Limerick regional final were presented with an ‘Our World Irish Aid Award’ plaque.
Irish Aid is the Government’s international development programme. It is managed by the Development Cooperation and Africa Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. For further information see www.irishaid.ie