Royal and Prior students at Irish World Aid Forum event in Dublin

Learning has gone global through participation by schools in the Irish Aid WorldWise School Partnership programme. Students from the Royal and Prior Comprhensive, Raphoe, learned this first hand when they took part in the WorldWise Forum on January 26 in Croke Park.

Learning has gone global through participation by schools in the Irish Aid WorldWise School Partnership programme. Students from the Royal and Prior Comprhensive, Raphoe, learned this first hand when they took part in the WorldWise Forum on January 26 in Croke Park.

The WorldWise Student and Teacher Forum brought together more than 280 students and 50 teachers from 25 schools, who are involved in learning partnerships with schools in developing countries. The theme of the event was ‘Solidarity Not Charity’. They shared the learning from their partnerships through lively workshops, activities and exhibits.

The event began with a video keynote address from former President Mary Robinson in her current role as Chairperson of the Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice.

WorldWise students and teachers focused on five development themes this year: Health, Local Environment, Human Rights and Social Justice, Climate Change and Media. Each school was allocated a stand to show the theme they have been working on with their partner school, how this has been done, and what they have learnt in the process.

Throughout the day there were schools, networks, partner teachers from India and representatives from Irish Aid and Léargas visiting the stands to talk to students about their projects. At the end of the Forum, there were prizes for the best school partnership in each category. This prize was based on how students engaged with their chosen theme and with their partner school, as well as their understanding of the Forum theme.

The Royal and Prior has links with Bombi Primary School, Kenya and is developing a partnership with Bethel School in Uganda.

The Forum theme, ‘Solidarity not Charity’, reflects the strategy of Irish Aid in relation to Development Aid and to Development Education. The basis for this kind of engagement being effective is an understanding of development issues and last year, through the WorldWise scheme, more than 10,000 Irish students and 7,000 partner students have been involved in Development Education activities

WorldWise is funded by Irish Aid and is managed by Léargas to support the development of second-level school partnerships between schools in Ireland and schools in developing countries. WorldWise aims to increase shared understanding of global development issues through school linking. Since its inception in 2007, the scheme has expanded to involve 70 Irish schools with partnerships in 13 different countries across Africa and Asia. Details of the scheme are available on www.irishaid.gov.ie/worldwise.

If you would like more information on the event, contact Eva at ecreely@leargas.ie or 086 372 5927 .