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Minister of State for Trade and Development, Jan O’Sullivan T.D.,launches Our World Irish Aid Awards

Development Education, News/feature, Ireland, 2011

Minister of State for Trade and Development, Jan O’Sullivan today launched the Our World Irish Aid Awards for primary school pupils in St. John’s National Girls School in Limerick.

The Our World Irish Aid Awards encourage primary school children to learn more about the lives of children in the developing world and use their knowledge to create projects in a variety of media from art, drama and essays to poetry, film and music. The competition is designed to foster a greater understanding of the Millennium Development Goals and Irish Aid’s work in developing countries.

At the official launch at St. John’s National Girls School today, Minister O’Sullivan said:

“I am really looking forward to seeing the creative and imaginative projects that pupils will create this year. The standard over the last six years has been consistently high and the children taking part have brought a fresh perspective to major global issues such as hunger and inequality.

“The awards are a great opportunity for primary pupils to learn about the lives of children who are less fortunate than themselves and to gain a sense of the challenges and opportunities that face communities in the developing world. I believe that what they learn about the wider world at this pivotal stage in their education will stay with them throughout their lives and encourage them to become global citizens who strive to create a more equal world.

“More than 500 schools took part in the awards last year and I would encourage even more teachers and pupils to become involved this year.”

The awards are open to all pupils in third to sixth class (years four to seven in Northern Ireland).  The closing date for entries is Friday, 2 December 2011 and a shortlist of schools will be announced in January 2012.

A special Our World Irish Aid Awards ceremony will be held in Dublin Castle on 21 February 2012 for the finalist schools.  The outstanding project will receive the overall Our World Irish Aid Awards trophy, while the twelve finalists will be awarded highly-commended trophies.

23 September 2011

Note to editors

• Irish Aid is the Government’s programme for overseas development. It managed by the Development Cooperation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

• At the core of the Our World Irish Aid Awards are the eight Millennium Development Goals, which were agreed in September 2000 by the United Nations. 

• The theme of this year’s Awards is “Caring for the Planet, Feeding Our World”, and young people are invited to explore the links between the environment (Goal 7)and global poverty and hunger (Goal 1)

The 8 Millennium Development Goals aim to:

•         Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
•         Achieve universal primary education
•         Promote gender equality and empower women
•         Reduce child mortality
•         Improve maternal health
•         Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
•         Ensure environmental sustainability
•         Develop a global partnership for development
For further information or to request an interview with Minister O’Sullivan, please contact Fionnuala Quinlan, Press Officer, Irish Aid, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on 087-9099975