12 December, 2007 - Seán Haughey T.D. Minister for Youth Affairs Addresses the Peace Corps – Localise and Larkin Community College Graduation Event
Minister for Youth Affairs, Seán Haughey T.D. spoke today at the Peace Corps - Localise and Larkin Community College Graduation event,celebrating caring in the Community.The programme aims to encourage active citizenship amongst school children, to effect positive change and challenge young people to care for others.
Minister Haughey spoke of the success of the "Caring in the Community" Active Citizenship projects to date. "The Peace Corps new schools initiative is attracting young people to engage directly in community work in their locality.This is important for two main reasons.Firstly, it helps engender a sense of community spirit within Irish society, which is moving at an ever-accelerating pace. Secondly, the students' active involvement makes the subjects of C.S.P.E, S.P.H.E and R.E more real and meaningful to them."
The Minister praised the diversity of the projects undertaken by the young students, which ranged from working with the Lourdes' Elderly Centre in Seán McDermott Street, visiting young students in Marlborough Street Primary School, organising a fundraising event for Temple Street Children's Hospital and preparing hand-made Christmas cards and donating presents to the Elderly Centre of Sheriff Street.
"Larkin Community College is in a unique position, being one of the first schools in Ireland to take part in this initiative.Through this pilot, students have been experiencing first hand the meaning of active citizenship and are beginning to understand the meaning of community service.
"The Peace Corps "Localise programme" has been tapping in to the talents of young people and encouraging young volunteers to play a practical role and give a helping hand in their communities for some 35 years. Since its formation, Peace Corps members have been coming together to look at the needs of their local communities and to develop services to meet local needs. We are all having to work harder to impress on people a sense of community and the Peace Corps' efforts in this regard are very important."