Donegal pupils presented with awards at annual Our World Irish Aid Awards Regional Final

Primary school pupils from Cloughfin National School were named Best Newcomer (Regional) and Scoil Naomh Fiachra, Illistrin were presented with a Special Distinction Award at today’s regional final of the annual Our World Irish Aid Awards held at the Model Arts Centre, Sligo.

The North-West regional final event, which is one of four regional events taking place this week, saw 15 primary schools compete for three of 12 places at the national final, Best Regional Newcomer, and Special Distinction Awards.  As well as exhibiting their work and taking part in a number of activities, pupils and teachers heard from special speaker Garda Darran Conlon who shared his experience of promoting diversity through sport in Ballyhaunis, Ireland’s most ethnically diverse town, and, in particular, his commitment to the integration of immigrant children, many of whom are from developing countries.

Congratulating the teachers and pupils Cloughfin National School and Scoil Naomh Fiachra, Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Joe McHugh T.D. said that this year’s Award entries had shown exceptional creativity and understanding of the Awards’ theme ‘For People and Planet’.

“I would like to congratulate the teachers and pupils at Cloughfin National School and Scoil Naomh Fiachra on their success at today's Our World Irish Aid Awards regional final.

“This year more than 1,300 primary schools across the country participated in the Awards, exploring the interdependence between people and the natural world, and how the wellbeing of people, wildlife and the environment is interconnected.  They have also been learning about the lives of children and their families in Irish Aid’s eight partner countries through the use of online teaching and learning materials.

“The Our World Irish Aid Awards help children to develop an understanding around issues that affect us all and highlight our responsibility to help support those most vulnerable in our world, as well as bringing the U.N. Global Goals for Sustainable Development into the classroom in a way that helps  our younger citizens to understand and contribute towards meeting them.”

Now in their 12th year, the Our World Irish Aid Awards help primary school pupils learn about the lives of children and their families in developing countries, and how Ireland and 192 other countries are working together to create a safer and fairer world and a better future for all the world’s children through the U.N. Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

Each entry was assessed on its creativity, understanding of the theme and its impact.  All 15 schools present at today’s North-West regional final were presented with an ‘Our World Irish Aid Award’ plaque.  The schools that go on to compete in the national final will contend not just for the overall Our World Irish Aid Awards trophy, but also the titles of Teacher of the Year and Best Newcomer School.

The projects from the two Donegal Award winners are as follows:

  1. Cloughfin National School, Ballindrait, Lifford

Teacher: Fiona Farry

Class Group: Group of 17 pupils from 3rd – 6th class

Project title: Tree of People

Project Description: This school produced a life-sized tree with 17 branches, each belonging to one of the 17 U.N. Global Goals for Sustainable Development.  QR codes on each branch take the scanner to a specially built website which explains the goal through the children’s drawings and cartoons.

  1. Scoil Naomh Fiachra, Illistrin, Letterkenny

Teacher: Jane McGinley

Class Group: Whole School

Project title: Taking Care of Our Common Home

Project Description: This extremely active school documented all of their work in a project book containing detailed and colourful art works, talks, clean-up and recycling campaigns and community events.  All of their efforts underlined the web of global connections with focus on the U.N. Global Goals for Sustainable Development.