The Dún Laoghaire leg of the Young Social Innovators Speak Out Tour 2018 took place Tuesday 20 March at the Royal Marine Hotel in Dún Laoghaire, Dublin. Over the past four weeks all the Young Social Innovators in Ireland who participated in the project in 2018 have been joining the Speak Out Tour in their area to showcase their work.
The tour began on the 27th of February at the Ulster Speak Out and then travelled to Dublin, Cork, Louth, Galway, Kilkenny and Limerick. Altogether the YSI Speak Out Tour travelled 2,000 kilometers around the country and heard 7,000 Transition Year participants speak out about the issues that they are concerned with and the innovations they are undertaking to address them.
Young Social Innovators
Young Social Innovators (YSI) promotes education for social innovation. YSI aim to give secondary students the opportunity to use their creativity to respond to social issues and contribute to building a fairer, more caring and equal society. YSI asks its participants to try and imagine the type of society they would like to live in and then challenges them to put their ideas into practice to help bring their vision into reality.
Speak Out Tour 2018 Dún Laoghaire
987 students took part in the Dún Laoghaire stage of the Speak Out Tour. Each group was given two minutes to present their projects which covered a range of themes from climate change and waste reduction, to preventing Sudden Arrhythmic Death syndrome, to supporting those with dementia. Here are some of the highlights of issues the Young Social Innovators at the Dún Laoghaire Speak Out Tour chose to challenge.
Students from Coláiste Chiaráin Leixlip tackled the issue of animal cruelty as part of their YSI project. They wanted to promote animal rights in their school and community and created workshops which they gave in local primary schools to teach children that dogs are more than just objects and pets. The group created the 101 dogs Facebook page to help inform people on how to properly take care of dogs through proper grooming and diet.
Coláiste Chiaráin Celbridge Road, Leixlip
Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome
With a person having a 20% chance of surviving if someone does CPR after suffering a cardiac arrest and 50% chance if there is a defibrillator, Moyle Park College students wanted to use their YSI project to raise awareness about Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome.
At the Speak Out Tour they highlighted the difference which having CPR training or a defibrillator at sport facilities and schools has to the chances of someone surviving after a sudden cardiac arrest. Performing a short play entitled Breaking SADs, they increased Defibrillator and CPR training awareness among the other students at the event. They also invited the Ciaran Carr Foundation to come to their school and give CPR training to students.
Moyle Park College, Clondalkin
Drug and Alcohol Awareness
Coláiste Cill Mhántáin chose to do their project on Drug and Alcohol Awareness after a student in their group shared his personal experience of alcoholism in his family. They invited speakers from AA to speak to them and other transition year groups in their school to help students understand the issue of addiction. They also held a bake sale on the 9th of March and raised over €300 to buy new cooker for Tiglin.
The subject of mental health was addressed by several of the YSI groups at Dún Laoghaire.
The Presentation College, Carlow project 'Mindset Matters' chose to raise awareness around mental health. The YSI group created a book called “Flame of Hope” to help those struggling with mental health difficulties. The book gives advice on simple steps to help manage mental health. The group also held a No Uniform Day and raised €1,100, which they donated to a local mental health charity.
Another YSI group highlighted the national crisis of the increase in suicide rates. As part of their project a student from the YSI group in Colaiste Ciarán Leixlip, chose to speak of his own experience of depression to show students with mental health issues that they can have a voice.
Presentation College, Carlow
Students from St Fintan's High School, Sutton chose to challenge the use of fossil fuels in their school with their project Off Grid. Recognising the pollution which the school was creating through the use of fossil fuels, they wanted to create positive change by replacing them with a renewable energy source instead; solar panels.
The group first identified how much money they would need to install solar panels in their school, and the cost came to over €6000. The YSI group then presented their idea before their Board of Management who agreed to donate €3300 euro to the project, a figure which the group then had to match. They also pitched their idea on the YSI Den and received the largest investment a YSI group has ever received of €1000.
The rest of the funds they need were raised through a No Uniform Day at their school. Off Grid also promoted their project across social media and with their website OffGridYsi. They are hoping that their project can inspire others in their community and further afield to challenge the norm of using fossil fuels and to switch to renewable energy instead.