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Our World Irish Aid Awards 2015

Development Education, News/feature, Africa, Ireland, 2015

Cork students named national final winners of the 10th annual Our World Irish Aid Awards 2015

-      Awards presented by Minister Flanagan in Dublin Castle 

Fifth and sixth class students from Vicarstown National School, Cork along with their teacher Áine O'Shaughnessy were today named overall winners of the Our World Irish Aid Awards 2015 at the national final held in Dublin Castle. The students were awarded the top prize for their project, “Our World In Our Hands”, which focussed on climate change and its impact on poor communities in developing countries. 

The students were presented with the ‘Our World Irish Aid Awards’ trophy by Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD. 

Speaking at the national final, Minister Flanagan stated: 

“The Our World Irish Aid Awards give pupils from all over Ireland a great opportunity to gain insight in to the lives of children in the developing world and develop their understanding of major global issues through projects which are creative and educational. 

“I was really impressed with the standard of the projects exhibited. All of the students should be extremely proud of their achievements. Vicarstown National School, Cork, are well deserved overall national winners, it was clear that they put a tremendous amount of work into their project. A special word of congratulations has to go to St. Patrick's National School, Glencullen, Co Dublin, for  consistent excellence in their  projects over a number of years.” 

“Great progress has been made in meeting the Millennium Development goals since they were agreed in 2000. Working with our partners in developing countries and at the UN and EU, Ireland has contributed to this progress, which has included halving the number of people living in poverty, reducing malnutrition and dramatically increasing the number of children at school. While we must redouble our efforts in the years ahead, we can all be proud of these achievements. 

“Now in its 10th year, the Our World Irish Aid Awards are designed to help children in Ireland understand global issues, and Ireland’s role in working to meet the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). These goals focus on fighting hunger and poverty and improving the lives of those in the world’s poorest countries. 

“The Our World Irish Aid Award of Distinction was awarded to the 5th class students of St. Patricks National School, Glencullen, and their teacher Kathleen Byrne for consistent excellence over a number of years in the Our World Awards. They have participated on a whole school basis and  reached the finals each year for the past 3 years and have taken part  since 2010. 

“Over 1,000 primary schools throughout Ireland participate in the Our World Irish Aid Awards each year. All entries were assessed on their creativity, understanding of the theme and their impact.  The top 60 projects received an ‘Our World Irish Aid Awards’ plaque at the regional awards ceremonies in May, and 12 of the top entries won a place at the final awards ceremony on 16 June.” 

For more information on the Our World Irish Aid Awards 2015, please visit http://ourworldirishaidawards.ie/ 

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 
  • The main focus of the Our World Irish Aid Awards are the eight Millennium Development Goals, which were agreed in September 2000 by 189 countries of the United Nations, including Ireland. The deadline of 2015 is upon us, and, although significant progress has been made towards achieving the Goals, poverty and hunger are still a reality in our world, and much more remains to be done beyond the timeframe of the MDGs. This year a new set of development goals, currently referred to as sustainable development goals, will be adopted by 193 countries and launched at a high level plenary meeting of the UN General Assembly in New York 25-27 September. 
  • At the national final awards ceremony, the Vicarstown National School students were one of 12 schools exhibiting their projects in Dublin Castle. Commenting on the students’ project the judges said: “The Vicarstown students’ project, Our World In Our Hands, was very impressive and demonstrated a lot of learning. The 'Frozen' storybook they created to engage with the younger pupils in the school was really excellent and helped to tell the story of the challenges faced by children and their families in the developing world.” 
  • The 8 Millennium Development Goals are as follows: 

1)     Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

2)     Achieve universal primary education

3)     Promote gender equality and empower women

4)     Reduce child mortality

5)     Improve maternal health

6)     Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases

7)     Ensure environmental sustainability

8)     Develop a global partnership for development