LORETOS DAY OF REMEMBRANCE AN OUTSTANDING SUCCESS
Transition year students of Loreto Secondary School, Fermoy recently held a day of remembrance for separated and missing children. The Avondhu spoke with Chloe Dowling to find out more about the ‘Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Project (J.P.I.C.)’ the students had undertaken.
“At the beginning of the school year our teacher, Mr Jer Holland, showed us a short film about slavery called, ‘I am Slave’. We also read an article about separated children, or ‘missing kids’. We found that there are over 500 children missing from Ireland. These children came to this country from many other countries to seek asylum or refugee status. We thought that this issue was very serious, and needed awareness of it raised, and we realised we had found our J.P.I.C. project.”
A LOT OF WORK
After a lot of brainstorming and contributions from the class the students came to the decision that they would hold a day of remembrance for these children.
“We had a lot of work ahead of us,” Chloe told The Avondhu.
“Many girls from the class wrote letters and made numerous phone calls to speakers from different organisations. There were groups that made posters to be put up around our school, so that the other students of Loreto could learn about the work that we were doing.”
She added, “The week before our day of remembrance we prepared a large hall in our school for it. We set out seating and also projectors for the speakers. On the day itself Transition Years students from both Loreto and St Colman’s attended to listen to the speakers who had agreed to come along.
“The morning began with Aoife Murphy’s opening speech. Aoife has done a thesis on this topic and we were delighted to have her come and speak to us. The next speaker was Claire from the Irish Refugee Council.
"Then, Ailish ni Charthaigh, a social worker from the HSE, spoke to the students followed by Sr Sheila O’Gorman from APT Ireland and Fiona Hurley from NASC. These women were immensely helpful to us students, and we are very grateful for their help.”
HUNDREDS OF CANDLES
Following the talks the students lit hundreds of candles in the hall. These candles represented the separated children and were a lovely aspect of the event. When everyone arrived back and were seated again a beautiful and touching slideshow was shown, which was compiled by some of the Loreto students. The slideshow included some of the children from the missing kids website and it showed a picture of them, their ages, nationalities and descriptions.
“This was a really great way to end the day and was very important to us. We feel very strongly about the issue and had put a lot of work into our day of remembrance. It was very special to us that it was such a success,” Chloe concluded.
Teacher Jer Holland added, “Our transition years were delighted with the day and the justice group that organised the event feel passionately about the number of separated children who have gone missing in our country over the last decade, so, all in all, it was a great success.”
Friday 3rd December 9:49am