Raising awareness of children’s lives in developing countries

AUTHOR DETAILS

Maeve Gilligan, fifth class teacher
St. Ciaran’s N.S. ,Hartstown, Dublin 15
www.stciarans.com

KEYWORDS

St. Ciaran’s N.S., fifth class, Irish Aid Awards Project, MDGs, Millennium Development Goals, Children, Senior Primary

SUMMARY

We took part in the Our World Irish Aid Awards for primary schools. The theme for 2014 was “A Better Future for All the World’s Children”. We learned about global development from Irish Aid lesson plans and explored children’s lives in developing countries.

  • Our project focussed on how all countries and communities can work toward s creating a better world for all children – with the title “World don’t hide – Cherish every child”
  • When we discovered the hardships of child labour we wrote poems to empathise
  • We learned about how both rich and poor countries are working to fight poverty through the Millennium Development Goals and how they were helping children
  • We created a project book and a journal of the development of our project
  • We made a big well in Art lesson, and asked everyone to write a wish for the well – to create interest
  • We made posters to show how Fair Trade and Recycling could impact poverty
  • We encouraged others to support Fair Trade, which resulted in an increase in sales of Fairtrade bananas in our local supermarket.
  • We went to Dublin Castle for the final and got a chance to view other projects

The World Don’t Hide project was the overall winner of the Our World Irish Aid Awards 2014

PARTICIPANTS

5th Class, Whole Schoola and Hartstown Community (There was a presentation at morning mass in St. Ciaran’s Church and posters for Fairtrade Fortnight in local Eurospar)

TIMEFRAME

January – April. However our interest in Fairtrade is renewed from year to year

MATERIALS

Most support materials were readily available on the Our World support website: ourworldirishaidawards.ie

Other materials included:

PROCESS / LOGISTICS

Step by step approach:

  • Followed Irish Aid lesson plans to give overview of global development and MDGs Researched children’s lives in developing countries and how the MDGs have brought improvements to many children and their families.
  • Learnt about the problems faced by millions of children as a result of poverty, including child labour. Wrote poems to empathize with child labourers
  • Developed our project which included games, quizzes, posters, Minecraft and stories based on MDGs.
  • Made a large “wishing well” ( from cardboard) and asked school and community to drop in wishes for the world’s children
  • Told others in school community and beyond how the MDGs are helping children
  • Made Fairtrade and Recycling posters to show how we can all help
  • Collected Fair Trade logos for a large poster which was displayed in local supermarket to promote Fair Trade
  • Displayed project in church to create more interest and awareness
  • Performed an Irish poem we had written, “Cloisim Thú”, between a child labourer and an Irish child, in the Our World Irish Aid final in Dublin Castle for school community, members of Board of Management, local councillor, parents and 2 TDs, one of whom was Minister of State for Trade and Development, as well as an audience of 350 at Dublin Castle.
  • Made a special decorative box containing the answer to the world’s problems. Can you guess what’s in it? We asked lots of adults and children, including Irish Aid staff, teachers, politicians and VIPs – no one guessed correctly!

ACTIVITY FOCUS / CASE STUDY

  • We wrote short poems based on child labourers
  • This fitted in nicely with poetry writing in our literacy programme
  • Groups of children compiled lists of key words using pictures as stimulus
  • We discussed what emotion we wanted to convey
  • We carefully chose the most appropriate words and edited each poem to ensure it was thought provoking but not condescending
  • This also integrated with our SPHE programme on “Myself and the wider world”
  • These poems provided very good discussion points for further work and encouraged empathy which is crucial to development education

PROJECT LEARNING

Success and challenges:

    • We succeeded in creating an awareness of the hardships children endure in developing countries, of how the MDGs are helping to reduce world poverty and of what we can all do – Support Fair Trade, Reduce, reuse , recycle, Keep informed and tell others
    • Making our well and “secret box” worked very well to create an interest
    • In doing this project it works helps to have a specific goal in mind

MEASURING YOUR IMPACT

  • Our well was filled with wishes so we knew that we had got people interested
  • Our Fair Trade poster filled up with logos so we knew people were making an effort to support Fair Trade
  • Our local Eurospar informed us that sales of Fairtrade bananas increased significantly in as a result of our promotion

News and media reports:

LINKS TO PROJECT ACTIVITIES

Featured in the Our World annual showcase event video

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