2017 saw the tragic Rohingya crisis unfold in Bangladesh, political crises evolve on the world stage and a homelessness crisis snowball in Ireland. Yet in big ways and small, 2017 also saw people across the world continue to work for peace and equality, open dialogue and light our own tiny candles in the darkness. The Project Us movement for change – which kicked off in October 2017 – will be one of our ways of letting in the light in 2018 and beyond!
Ireland, we’re coming for you!
Do you find yourself frustrated by the homelessness crisis? Infuriated by lack of action on climate change? Outraged by images of children caught up in war? So do we. That’s why, in 2017, with the support of Irish Aid, Concern created Project Us – a space (online and off) for communities to gather together to discuss the UN’s Global Goals and what can be done to make them a reality. The people of Galway and Dublin came on board in 2017, and in 2018, we’re coming for the rest of the country!
Hunger for change in Galway
In October 2017, Galway played host to the very first Project Us coffee conversation. Galwegians – aged 20 to 80 – gathered in the Harbour Hotel to discuss what poverty means to them, how is it differs between countries and what we could do – as a country, as individuals – to alleviate it completely. The discussion was lively, challenging and bursting with energy and hunger for change!
Fiery, frank conversation in Dublin
Next, we hit Dublin and joined the National Youth Council of Ireland/Concern Youth Summit at the Aviva Stadium. There, we enjoyed fiery and frank conversations on the role that young people can and must play in making the Global Goals happen. The room was inspired by young people such as Deborah Somorin who was made homeless in Dublin aged 13 but now stood before us as an accountant in a top international firm. She told us, “Children growing up in homelessness is not acceptable and I’m living proof that with the correct support, anything is possible.”
Watch out 2018!
In 2018, Project Us will continue to explore how issues at local level connect to the UN’s Global Goals – the international pathway towards creating a more equal world by 2030. The Project Us coffee conversations offer a unique forum for the people of Ireland, to share ideas, raise our voices and connect. We’ll kick off in Cork on 25 January, followed by Belfast on 15 March, Limerick on 29 March, Waterford on 26 April and then back to Dublin for a summer session.