Challenge to Change 2011

On Wednesday 11th May this year’s gathering of Presentation Primary and Secondary schools engaged in the ‘Challenge to Change’ programme took place in the Springhill Hotel in Kilkenny.

All were welcomed by Sr. Margaret Mary Healy and Liam Kilbride, the co-ordinators of Challenge to Change, who work so hard to encourage students in Presentation Schools to continue to promote the spirit of justice and social consciousness central to the life of Nano Nagle.

Sr. Imelda Carew of the Presentation South East Leadership team, the Trustees of the Project, who opened the proceedings and spoke of how Challenge to Change allows the minds of students to be opened, not only to the to the endless possibilities to be found in the world around them, but also to the hardship and deprivation in that world, and to the ways in which each of us in some small way can make a difference.

Eight CEIST schools were represented this year:

Coláiste Bríde Clondalkin and Presentation Secondary school Waterford both undertook projects on Child Labour, the former entitled “All Children should be free” and the latter “Child Labour” highlighting the issue of the human cost of producing consumer goods.

Presentation Secondary School Thurles addressed the issue of Environmental Awareness entitled “Busy Green fingers”; St. Joseph’s College, Lucan, promoted Fair Trade with their project “One Fair World”, while Presentation Secondary School Wexford looked at the work of the St Vincent de Paul Society in Wexford.

They learned about the ways in which St Vincent de Paul assist their local community and decided to fundraise for them by supporting their charity shop, buying a selection of clothes, altering them themselves, to be stunningly fashionable, and putting on a fashion show! Not only did the girls learn a great deal in undertaking this social justice project and fundraising initiative, but they also developed great life-skills in developing their talents for dressmaking!

The students from Presentation Secondary School, Ballingarry presented their project, “Sowing the Seeds of Change”, on their developing partnership with a School in Chennai in India which they have linked with through the Presentation Sisters’ Global Education Experience programme.

Celebrating the intercultural nature of our schools was the focus of projects from the Presentation Secondary Schools from Rockford Manor, Dublin and Sexton St. Limerick who highlighted the fact that “Difference doesn’t mean Different” and that our schools are now places where there are “Many voices” but “One Home. The students from Sexton St, had been involved in composing an Anthem for the tenth Anniversary of Doras Luimni, and their choir, composed of pupils of nine nationalities, had performed it with Micheál Ó Súilleabháin and the Irish Chamber Orchestra and at the Anniversary Concert in St. Mary’s Cathedral in Limerick.











Pictured above students of Coláiste Bríde, Clondalkin with Sr. Margaret Mary Healy who is the co-ordinator of the challenge to change programme and teacher Michelle Abbott.

It was wonderful to meet so many primary school pupils who had also undertaken powerful projects, and who were all so articulate in explaining why they had chosen to learn about the issues they were presenting, what they had done and what they had learnt. The pupils from Scoil Mhuire GNS in Lucan had even brought along their friend ‘Tina Taps’ to help them to demonstrate their concern about conservation of water.

In addition to displaying their projects, the students were also invited to participate in workshops throughout the day. These were on Indian Culture – led by Sr Alba Rodriguez PBVM, a drumming workshop given by Eamon Cagney, and workshops on Trocaire Development Education and Concern given by Shane O’Connor, Patsy Toland & Tara McGrath and Dee Clare.

Congratulations to all the students involved, and to their teachers, whose commitment, support and encouragement enabled their pupils to undertake these projects with such enthusiasm. Sincere thanks also to Sr Margaret Mary and Liam for their dedication and energy in continuing to promote awareness of justice, human rights and sustainability in such a positive way in our Presentation Schools.

Challenge To Change 2011 Slideshow

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