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Are you a social activist?

The Concern Debates 2008-09 are also underway with the vast majority of the Round One debates finished.

It’s shaping up to be a great debating year, as the feedback coming in from the adjudicators is that the standards are high and everyone is very enthusiastic. I remember this time last year heading out to a school in the south Dublin suburbs one rainy night and being very impressed by a new team who had never debated before. They went on to be semi-finalists and a little birdie tells me a couple of them are doing very well this year in college debating. It could be you!

Bebo generation

The motion for Round Two  is “The Bebo generation cares little for the developing world”. That got me thinking about our Concern Bebo page, which some of you might be interested in. Last year, a debater from Kerry also set up her own Bebo page dedicated to the Debates. I wonder will anyone take the initiative this year?

Where to find Concern Worldwide

There are also Concern pages on Facebook  and MySpace so no excuses! We also have a YouTube Channel which you may find useful as you are researching debates topics throughout the year and a selection of inspiring pictures on Flickr.

I’m really looking forward to hearing the arguments in Round Two. It’s often said that young people today are politically apathetic, but I’m not so sure myself. Maybe people are just being politically and socially active where the “grown-ups” can’t see them?

Online activism 

In America, Barack Obama’s presidential campaign benefited from the online activism of literally millions of young people, particularly on Facebook where his official group reached one million members last June. Currently it has over three million members and that’s without counting all the non-official groups!

Closer to home

The youth website Spun Out has thousands of members across Ireland. Members of Spun Out are involved in all kinds of social activism from protesting the recent budget cuts in education to taking part in activities run by groups such as Stop Climate ChaosECO-UNESCO and Amnesty International. Getting involved is only a click away.