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Creating a kinder world at the Youth Summit

Maedhbh McDonald | 21 November 2016 | 0 Comments

On 17 November over 200 young people gathered in the Law Society of Ireland, Blackhall Place for the annual Youth Summit. Organised by the NYCI and Concern Worldwide, the event took place during One World Week and focused on the topic of migration and the sustainable development goals.

The 2016 Youth Summit in Blackhall Place. Photo: Visual Newsdesk/Concern Worldwide.

One World Week is seven days of youth-led awareness raising, education and action that takes place throughout Ireland during the third week in November every year. The Youth Summit, which takes place during One World Week, encourages young people to learn about national and global justice issues and acts as a forum for open discussion.

Youth Summit attendees are asked what the one thing they would take with them if they had to leave the place the considered home. Photo: Visual Newsdesk/Concern Worldwide.

Understanding migration

With a focus on migration, this year’s Youth Summit debunked many of the issues around migration; providing definitions, timelines and infographs relating to the topic in a useful resource pack. After a brief introduction and icebreaker activities, the day began with a spoken word-dance infusion performed by Kelvin Akpaloo, a Ghanaian migrant, and three other young migrants. Following the powerful performance, attendees were separated into groups and each group was addressed by a migrant living in Ireland. The young migrants from all around the world told their stories of travelling from one country to another and detailed how their experienced shaped who they are today.

Mosten, a Zambian migrant, told stories about his experience of migration. Photo: Visual Newsdesk/Concern Worldwide.

Samiya told stories about his experience of migration. Photo: Visual Newsdesk/Concern Worldwide.

Saving lives in the Mediterranean

The day continued in the same creative and interactive vein in which it started, with an inspiring address from Lieutenant Daniel Cagney from the Irish Naval Service who worked as a search and rescue officer aboard the L.É Róisín in the Mediterranean Sea and a musical performance from the Barefeet Theatre Company.

Lieutenant Daniel Cagney from the Irish Naval Service told stories about his experience as a search and rescue officer on the L.E Roisin. Photo: Visual Newsdesk/Concern Worldwide.

Lieutenant Daniel Cagney from the Irish Naval Service told stories about his experience as a search and rescue officer on the L.E Roisin. Photo: Visual Newsdesk/Concern Worldwide.

Ireland’s young changemakers

Young change makers also took to the stage, sharing examples of their work on migration issues at location, national and global level. UN Youth Delegate for Ireland, Samantha O’Brien O’Reilly spoke about her experience addressing the UN in New York and Phoenix Youth Project member Grace McManus explained the steps she took to create the 10000MissingChildren campaign.

UN Youth Delegate for Ireland, Samantha O’Brien O’Reilly spoke about her experience addressing the UN in New York Photo: Visual Newsdesk/Concern Worldwide.

Grace McManus explained the steps she took to create the 10000MissingChildren campaign. Photo: Visual Newsdesk/Concern Worldwide.

Informed and inspired

The day ended with group discussions addressing the issues – how do we make a world where people aren’t forced to flee? And how to we respond to this world where people are forced to flee? Closing remarks were made by Concern’s Head of Active Citizenship Michael Doorly, and attendees left feeling informed, inspired and equipped to campaign for a kinder and more inclusive world.

Closing remarks from Concern’s Michael Doorly. Photo: Visual Newsdesk/Concern Worldwide.

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