Young innovators Speak Out: Limerick students tackle social issues

Jess Casey

Reporter:

Jess Casey

Students from St Munchin’s College at the YSI Tour

Students from St Munchin’s College at the YSI Tour

MORE THAN 600 students met in Limerick to speak out about homelessness, poverty, exclusion and racism as part of a challenge to get young people to think differently and come up with ways to tackle social issues that affect them. 

With 7,000 students taking part across the country, the Young Social Innovators Speak Out Tour took place at the Castletroy Park Hotel with 623 pupils from 18 schools across Limerick getting involved on the day. 

The Speak Out Tour gives young people the opportunity to advocate around issues high up on the political agenda here, like homelessness, poverty and immigration, and demonstrate how they come up with solutions. 

On the day, teams gave two minute presentations on stage to an audience including invited guests and a YSI panel. Teams in Limerick spoke about a wide range of issues, including sexual consent, mental health, farm safety, loneliness, homelessness and water safety. 

St Munchin’s College in Corbally presented projects on a range of topics, including carbon emissions, racism in sport, cruelty to animals, healthy eating, fitness in school and early school leavers. Pupils from Laurel Hill Secondary School also presented a project entitled ‘Healthy Happy Hearts’. 

Among the projects from students at Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh were presentations dealing with animal abuse and anti-social behaviour as well as two other projects called ‘Rang Catriona’ and ‘GCL Gníomhach’. 

It’s important to create more opportunities to hear the voices of the next generation, according the YSI chief executive Rachel Collier. 

“We need a pipeline of leaders, innovators and change-makers, and we all must adapt to make the space for this generation to emerge and be heard. These leaders won’t emerge through research and spreadsheets, they will emerge through personal engagement and activism and this is something we want to encourage and facilitate.”