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From big bananas to big books and pencils

I’ve just realised that I am destined to be surrounded by oversized objects!

First, I’m pictured holding a large fairtrade banana for Fairtrade Fortnight. Then I find myself constructing a big book and a big pencil in preparation for the Big Read event! But it all paid off and it was a great celebration for the Global Campaign for Education, of whom Concern is a member.


Big Read

On the morning of 22 April, Roddy Doyle read Michael Morpurgo’s story from the Big Read Book. The same story was read by schools and youth clubs throughout the country.

Education and children’s rights

Pupils from Swords Educate Together put on a fantastic show about Nicaragua and child labour, highlighting the need for education and children’s rights.

Ruth Ní Bheoláin, Richard Whelan, Cathy Gormley, Rebecca Doran and Emma Prior read out their own poignant pieces, outlining the real education issues that need to be tackled. They emphasised the fact that 774 million adults in the world cannot read or write.

Learning to read

Ifrah Ahmed and Olive Phelan, talked about their firsthand experience of learning to read and write with the National Adult Literacy Association. It has changed their life. Their anecdotes about covering up their illiteracy were heart-wrenching.

The event finished up with everyone signing the Irish Big Read Book. You can sign it too by emailing [email protected].

Keeping education on the agenda

This book will be used to influence the government to keep education high on the agenda within their overseas aid programme. Members of the Global Campaign for Education have recently expressed their outrage at the recent cuts in Ireland’s aid budget.

These cuts can only mean that education for all will suffer. In particular, often-neglected areas such as literacy programmes are bound to be affected.

Concern runs adult literacy programmes in many of the countries where we work, including Sierra Leone, Liberia, Bangladesh.