Anna McSweeney, from Knockbrack, Knocknagoshel and a student at Presentation Secondary School Castleisland has, this week, been chosen as a Munster Regional finalist in ActionTalks – a national speech writing competition run by ActionAid and open to all students aged 14 to 17 year olds.
ActionAid provides long term support and focuses on the human rights of women and children in developing countries, so they can overcome the obstacles holding them back.
The approach is to empower women to take control over their own lives.
ActionAid Women’s Rights
Irish Aid, the Department of Foreign Affairs, funds an ActionAid Women’s Rights programme in Kenya, Nepal and Ethiopia.
ActionAid works with marginalised communities in an effort to prevent gender-based violence and help women gain an independent income.
The competition, now in eighth year, received 134 entries from 34 schools across 19 counties.
The competition aims to engage young people aged 14-17 with global issues, including gender equality and sustainable development, and challenges them to use their voice to create positive change.
An Equal Post-Pandemic World
This year the competition focused on how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted on women’s rights and how we can create a more equal world post-pandemic.
Regional finalists are asked to provide a video of themselves reading their speech. This will be graded on quality and delivery. Two winners from each region will win a €50 One4All voucher and will be selected to proceed on to the final. This year the overall prize is a €500 One4All voucher for the winner and a €100 One4All voucher for their teacher.
CEO of ActionAid Ireland Karole Balfe said that with over 130 high quality entries this year, the adjudicators had a challenge on their hands choosing the regional finalists.
A Platform for Fantastic Speeches
“It is the first year that we have included Regional Finals, and we are absolutely delighted to do this, and give these young people another platform to voice their fantastic speeches,” said Ms. Balfe.
“The quality is extremely high this year, and we are blown away by the contestants’ passion. Congratulations to Anna, for writing such an inspiring speech and making it this far,” she said.
You can read more at about the Irish Aid women’s rights program here: https://actionaid.ie/womens-rights-programme/
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