Students at Craughwell National School launched the 2019 Our World irish Aid Awards this week with Galway East TD and Minister of State for International Development Ciarán Cannon
The awards, now in their 14th year, invite school children across Ireland to submit projects that highlight the challenges facing children in the developing world, and how Irish Aid can help them.
Speaking at the launch Minister Cannon said that every person counts, and deserves opportunities in life, no matter 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,” said Minister Cannon.
“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.”
Schools and students taking part will receive information packets teaching them about the United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development, and the role Ireland plays in them.
Ireland was one of 193 countries that signed on to those goals to address the root causes of poverty and to protect the planet.
There are over 600 million young people in the world who don’t have basic reading, writing, or maths skills according to Minister Cannon.
If those there are 57 million primary school aged children who aren’t able to get 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,” the Minister said.
The theme of this year’s competition is Leave No One Behind where one of the Irish Aid supported project students will be learning about for it is Dunia Designs in the highlands of Tanzania.
Run by Irish expats Evanna Lyons and Alexis Cronin, this eco-friendly company creates furniture and building materials out of plastic waste that would otherwise pollute our environment.
This has the dual effect of combating the 13 million tonnes of plastic that makes its way into our oceans every year, and creating incomes for local families who otherwise would not have the opportunity to work.
Students taking part in the Irish Aid Awards can communicate their understanding of the principles and goals for sustainable development we’re reaching for in any way that pleases them, be it in writing, song, film, artwork or any medium they choose.
All entries will be assessed on their creativity, understanding of the theme and their impact.
Sixty projects which display creative strength and understanding will receive an ‘Our World Irish Aid Award’ plaque at regional awards ceremonies in May.
The top twelve entries will proceed to the national finals, with additional awards for Teacher of the Year and best Newcomer School.
Registration is now open and the deadline for entries is Friday 5 April 2019, for more information go to www.ourworldirishaidawards.ie.