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Minister Ciarán Cannon launches 2019 Our World Irish Aid Awards for primary schools

Minister Ciarán Cannon launches 2019 Our World Irish Aid Awards  for primary schools

On Monday 14 January 2019, Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Ciarán Cannon, TD, joined pupils at Craughwell National School, Co. Galway to launch the 2019 Our World Irish Aid Awards.

The Awards, which are now in their 14th year, invite 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 overseas development.

Speaking at the launch, Minister Cannon said:

There are 7.6 billion people in the world; 617 million young people who do not have basic mathematical, reading and writing skills; 57 million primary school aged children are not able to go to school.  You quickly see why it is essential that Ireland continues to play a proactive role in overseas development and meeting the 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development.”

“This year’s Our World Irish Aid Awards focuses on 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.  The Awards will give pupils from across the island of Ireland a unique opportunity to gain an insight into the lives of children in developing countries and 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.

“This is an imaginative and creative way of introducing our young people to the United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development which aim to eradicate poverty, climate change, and build a more peaceful, fair and sustainable world by 2030, not least because we all have a role to play in creating a better world and better future for all, leaving no one behind.

Is é téama na bliana seo ná “Ná Fág aon duine ar Lár”. Baineann an téama le gach ceann de Spriocanna Domhanda na Náisiún Aontaithe um Fhorbairt Inbhuanaithe. Cuireann na Spriocanna béim ar an dualgas atá orainn go léir aire a thabhairt don timpeallacht ionas go mbeidh saol níos fearr ag daoine i dtíortha i mbéal forbartha agus anseo in Éirinn. Foghlaimeoidh na páisti faoin saol sa Tansáin, ceann de ocht dtír páirtíochta Chúnamh Éireann agus faoi thionscnamh fíor-spéisiúil a thacaíonn le nuálaíocht chomh maith le leasanna timpeallachta agus slite beatha. Tá tuilleadh eolais ar fáil ar: http://www.ourworldirishaidawards.ie/as-gaeilge/

“I would like to personally encourage schools to take part in the 2019 Our World Irish Aid Awards and look forward to seeing their projects later this year.”

The Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh, TD, added his endorsement of the Awards saying that “the Our World Irish Aid Awards brings global issues into the primary classroom, in a child friendly way.  Taking part helps to instil awareness about our world and its people, the crises they face and how we can help. It also supports teachers’ delivery of the curriculum across a range of subject areas and allows pupils to communicate their own knowledge and ideas in many creative and innovative ways”.

Registered primary schools nationwide receive online and print curriculum-linked teaching and learning materials to help teachers and pupils discover more about the United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development, agreed by 193 countries including Ireland, to address the root causes of poverty and to protect the planet. Schools can communicate their ideas and understanding of the issues in writing, song, film, artwork or any medium they choose.

This year’s theme ‘Leave No One Behind’ relates to all of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and reminds us that each and every one of the world’s 7.6 billion citizens counts.  In a bid to combat the 13 million tonnes of plastic that makes its way into our oceans every year, harming local and global marine life and eco-systems, pupils will be learning about an Irish Aid supported project in the northern highlands of Tanzania.  Dunia Designs, run by Irish expats Evanna Lyons and Alexis Cronin, is an eco-friendly design company that specialises in the upcycling of plastic bottles, plastic bags and other waste to create beautiful and functional indoor and outdoor furniture and construction materials, not only diverting and reusing waste, but also creating incomes for local families who otherwise would not have the opportunity to work and earn an income to support the wider family unit.

All entries will be assessed on their creativity, understanding of the theme and their impact.  Sixty projects that illustrate strengths across these three areas will receive an ‘Our World Irish Aid Award’ plaque at regional awards ceremonies in May, and twelve top entries will win a place at the final awards ceremony in June, where the overall winner will be presented with an ‘Our World Irish Aid Awards’ trophy.  There will be additional awards for Teacher of the Year and Best Newcomer School.

Regisration for the programme is now open and the deadline for entries is Friday 5 April 2019.


Notes to editors:

  • Irish Aid is the Government’s overseas assistance programme. It is managed by the Development Cooperation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. For further information see www.irishaid.ie 
  • For more information on how to take part in the Our World Irish Aid Awards 2019 and the Global Goals for Sustainable Development please visit http://ourworldirishaidawards.ie/ 

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