BY JACKIE KEOGH
KILCOE NS took the top prize at the 2016 Irish Aid Our World Awards final in Dublin Castle on Tuesday.
In front of an audience of 300 pupils at the awards ceremony, Kilcoe were honoured for their project, entitled ‘One World, Our Future: There is No Planet B’, which really impressed the judges. Minister of State Joe McHugh TD, presented the prize.
Putting the project together, Kilcoe completed a full book on the global goals for sustainable development and focused on the importance of taking care of the environment as a way of fighting hunger and poverty in the developing world.
Some 700 primary schools participated in the national programme this year. The 12 schools that reached the national final were selected at four regional finals that were held in May, with the judges noting that the standard in 2016 was ‘exceptionally high’.
Kilcoe attended the regional final at the Triskel Art Centre in Cork and were chosen as one of three regional winners to go forward to the national final last Tuesday.
This is the 11th year of the awards – a programme that is designed to encourage young people across Ireland to learn more about the lives of children in developing nations. The core aim of the awards scheme – which is run by Irish Aid, the Government’s overseas aid programme – is to foster a greater understanding of the 17 ‘global goals’.
The pupils from Kilcoe NS explored the day-to-day challenges faced by children of their own age in other countries and then created a project using art, poetry and animation.
The adjudicators noted how the pupils from Kilcoe NS showed true knowledge on the sustainable development goals, and how excited the students were about, not only learning, but also about making a difference.
They loved how the pupils were central to the learning process and how the whole school got involved in the different activities. The balanced view of Ethiopia, showing both the positive features as well as the challenges faced by the people there, also came in for high praise.
They said it was evident that the pupils from Kilcoe NS understood the relevance of the global goals to their own lives and linked the global to the local in a very meaningful way.
The school received the overall national trophy, along with a finalist trophy and medals for students who participated in the project.
‘It is a huge achievement for the school and completes what has been hugely successful school year for Kilcoe National School,’ according to the principal, Michelle Griffin.