Outcomes from Virtual Town Hall meetings will feed into a new Irish Aid Strategy for Development Education and Global Citizenship.
Minister of State for Overseas Development and the Diaspora, Colm Brophy TD, today met 150 youth representatives to discuss how to build better public engagement on issues of global importance such as climate change, poverty, hunger, inequality and injustice.
This online event was one of three public meetings led by the Minister as part of an effort to develop a new Irish Aid strategy for Development Education and Global Citizenship.
Minister Brophy said:
“The pandemic has been a terrible reminder of how inter-connected our lives are, no matter where on the planet we live. Irish Aid can support public discussion of the big issues that affect us all, such as climate change, global inequality, hunger and injustice. I want us to learn from the valuable observations and inputs from today’s discussion, so that Irish Aid can work with Irish people on the issues that will shape our future.
“The experience of the last year tells me that we should revisit how Irish Aid engages with people of all ages and all backgrounds, learning from the way education – formal and informal – has adapted to the pandemic, and how each of us has changed how we receive and share information.
“Irish Aid already works through schools, colleges and adult, youth and community groups, but I’m conscious we can do more, connecting with a broader audience and bringing them into this conversation.”
Today’s event was organised in cooperation with the National Youth Council of Ireland and participants advised the Minister on how Irish Aid can reach a younger audience. Discussions focused on identifying the issues of most importance to younger people and on how Government can best communicate with them.
A previous online Town Hall took place on 31 March, with a third planned for 21 April.
Mary Cunningham, CEO of the National Youth Council said:
“Younger people are very conscious that they are global citizens. They think and communicate about these issues in ways that are different from previous generations.
“If Irish Aid’s work in this area is to be effective it needs to connect with the reality of how young people form their views. Today’s meeting was an important step in that direction. It was a good opportunity to set out the important issues and give some advice on how best to communicate.”
The new strategy is due to be finalised in mid-2021.
7 April 2021
Note for Editors
The Irish Aid Development Education and Global Citizenship strategy process began in February 2021 with an invitation to the public to provide written submissions. The final public Town Hall will be held online on 21 April.