Sr. Stanislaus Kennedy believes that young people are strong, that they can make a difference, and this was her thinking behind the Young Social Innovators Programme. Young people are challenged to make a difference within their communities; they are set the task of co-operating, communicating and caring about a social issue that they feel strongly about.
Back in September , our TY Class were brain storming social issues and the most common topic that was arising was the recession and how people were struggling in their everyday lives.
We then drew the comparison to clubs and organisations that we are involved in. We examined how difficult it was for clubs, charities and organisations to survive during these tough economic times and so the West Limerick Charity Secret Millionaire was born.
The students wanted to carry out a range of fundraising activities and then donate our money to a struggling organisation. In order to carry out this task we created a schedule of fundraising events, the first being the mammoth task of launching a fundraising CD.
The Students adapted Aloe Blacks “I Need a Dollar” and rewrote the popular chart song to become “I need a EURO”. The CD went on sale in the West Limerick Area and proved to be a success. We continued to endeavour in the fundraising activities by holding a very well attended Launch Night, and a profit spinning School Movie Afternoon.
The Launch was given an extremely high profile by the attendance of Mr. John Concannon, from the popular television programme “The Secret Millionaire”. He encouraged the students to work hard and commended us on our positive attitude and enthusiasm for life.
As this was a community based activity the Newcastle West and District Lyons Club and The Chamber of Commerce came on board to assist with this fantastic project. Competition time was upon us and we began to prepare for our ‘Speak Out’ in Cork. We really did not know what to expect, and to our surprise we qualified.
The West Limerick Charity Secret Millionaires were now in the final five in their category, and it was full steam ahead to a ‘Speak Out’ in Dublin. Competition here was extremely high, but the experience of answering questions in front of a panel of judges, and speaking out in front of hundreds of students, will stand to the TY Class forever. The organisation team pulled out all the stops and provided a fun filled day in City West for all the Young Social Innovators, with a huge selection of outdoor games and even a silent disco!
This was a truly enjoyable ending to a year of very hard work and dedication to this project. After careful consideration, the Secret Millionaires decided to divide their money in half and gave a very generous donation to both the Newcastle West Branch of the Brothers of Charity and St Ita’s Hospital.