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Minister McHugh launches 2017 Our World Irish Aid Awards for primary schools

Development Education, Education, News/feature, Ireland, 2017


Minister McHugh launches 2017 Our World Irish Aid Awards for primary schools


Awards seek to help children in Ireland understand global development issues and Ireland’s role in fighting poverty worldwide

 The Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Joe McHugh, TD, joined pupils at Scoil Naomh Fiachra, Letterkenny, Co Donegal, today to launch the 2017 Our World Irish Aid Awards

The Awards invite pupils across the island of Ireland to create projects about the challenges facing children in developing countries and the role played by Ireland, through Irish Aid, the Government’s programme for overseas development, in the global effort to fight poverty.  Schools are provided with online and print curriculum linked teaching and learning materials, and pupils communicate their ideas and understanding of the issues in writing, song, film, artwork or any medium they choose.
The ‘For People and Planet’ theme of the 2017 Awards helps pupils to understand the interdependence between people and the natural world, and how the wellbeing of people, wildlife and the environment is interconnected. Pupils will learn about the United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development, agreed by 193 countries including Ireland, to address the root causes of poverty and protect the planet, and how they as global citizens can play their part.
Speaking at today’s launch, Minister McHugh said:
“The Our World Irish Aid Awards give pupils from across the island of Ireland a great opportunity to gain insight into the lives of children in developing countries, and convey their understanding through projects which are both creative and educational.
Pupils will learn about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals which are aimed at eradicating poverty, addressing environmental degradation and climate change, and building a more peaceful, fair and sustainable world by the year 2030.  It is so important that young people learn about these Goals which are vital for the creation of a better world and a better future for all.
“I encourage schools to get involved in the 2017 Irish Aid Our World Awards and look forward to seeing their projects later this year.”
The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, TD, has stated that:


The Our World Irish Aid Awards is an exciting educational initiative which brings current global issues into the primary classroom, in a child friendly way. Taking part can support teachers’ delivery of the curriculum across a range of subject areas, and allows pupils to communicate their own knowledge and ideas in many creative and innovative ways.”


All entries are assessed on their creativity, understanding of the theme and their impact. Sixty projects that illustrate strengths across these three areas will receive an ‘Our World Irish Aid Award’ plaque at regional awards ceremonies in May, and 12 top entries will win a place at the final awards ceremony in June, where the overall winner will be presented with an ‘Our World Irish Aid Awards’ trophy. There will be additional special awards for Teacher of the Year and Best Newcomer School.

Over 1,000 primary schools throughout Ireland participated in the Our World Irish Aid Awards in 2016. Registration for the programme is now open and the deadline for entries is Thursday, 24 March 2017.



Press Office

16 January 2017

Notes to editors:

  • Photographs will be issued to photo desks following the launch.
  • Irish Aid is the Government’s overseas assistance programme. It is managed by the Development Cooperation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. For further information see www.irishaid.ie
  • The Our World Irish Aid Awards 2017 are open to primary schools in Ireland and Northern Ireland. 
  • For more information on how to take part in the Our World Irish Aid Awards 2017 and the Global Goals for Sustainable Development please visit http://ourworldirishaidawards.ie/ 
  • For further information: Máirtin Cronin, Press Officer, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade   01 408 2032; Liz Burke Communications (086 8912153)

The United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development 2016-2030


Goal 1

End poverty in all its forms everywhere

Goal 2

End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

Goal 3

Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

Goal 4

Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

Goal 5

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Goal 6

Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

Goal 7

Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

Goal 8

Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

Goal 9

Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

Goal 10

Reduce inequality within and among countries

Goal 11

Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Goal 12

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

Goal 13

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts*

Goal 14

Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

Goal 15

Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

Goal 16

Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

Goal 17

Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development