BANDON Grammar School student Jessica Gill is a finalist in the national Action Aid Speech Writing competition.
The competition, now in its third year, received entrees from over 100 students, aged 14 to 17, from more than 30 schools across the country.
Jessica is one of nine finalists selected to deliver their speech in Dublin on March 22nd.
There were three topics to choose from, all relating to women’s rights, and judges said the quality of entries was very high, and it was a difficult decision selecting the finalists. ‘Each year we have been hugely impressed by the quality of speeches we receive, and this year the standard was really exceptional,’ said Action Aid chief executive Siobhán McGee. ‘It is clear that a lot of time and effort has gone into each speech, and it was very difficult to choose our finalists. However, Jessica’s speech really stood out in terms of the writing skills demonstrated and a very high standard of analysis.’
The top two students chosen in the final will travel with their teachers to visit Kenya to see Action Aid’s women’s rights programme first hand. The winners will be chosen by an independent panel of judges.
The Irish Government, through Irish Aid, funds Action Aid’s Women’s Rights programme in Kenya, Malawi, Nepal and Vietnam.
Action Aid uses this funding to work with vulnerable communities to prevent girls from marrying young and then dropping out of school as a result, and to prevent gender-based violence.
The final will take place in the Royal Irish Academy (RIA).