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Home-schooling '17 Days to Learn' challenge launched by Concern

Sam Murphy (9) from Cobh Cork who built an insect hotel as part of Concern Worldwide's new home-schooling 17  Days to Learn challenge. Photo: Concern WOrldwide.
Sam Murphy (9) from Cobh Cork who built an insect hotel as part of Concern Worldwide's new home-schooling 17 Days to Learn challenge. Photo: Concern WOrldwide.

Insect hotels and hand-washing songs are among the many new fun home-schooling projects for children that were launched today by Irish charity Concern Worldwide.

New projects will be posted online daily as part of the 17-day challenge on an education phone app called Makematic to teach children and their families about the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The goals include ending poverty, climate change and hunger.

“This is a very valuable tool for parents trying to home-school their children,” said Concern’s Schools and Youth Programme Officer, Lauren Wright.

“We want to bring the world into people’s homes during these challenging times with positive activities for families to get involved with.

“These are fun and very educational activities for children from ages 7 to 17, but anyone can join in.

“We hope that children can watch the videos that will be posted each day to learn about the development goals and then partake in one or two of the challenges listed.

“We are using #17daystolearn for anyone sharing what they have done online and we think it would be great for children to keep a scrapbook of their work too to show teachers when they are back at school.”

The first challenge, which centres around the ‘no poverty’ development goal, is to create a “blessing bag” – which is a small bag or box of essential items that people living in poverty might need, such as food, snacks and or toiletries.

Other challenges that will be posted on the Makematic website and app to promote awareness and understanding of SDGs over the coming weeks include:

  • Making an insect hotel in a garden or balcony (SDG: Life on land);
  • Make a fun 20-second video to show people how to wash their hands. (SDG: Good health and well-being);
  • Track how much water your household uses each day (SDG: Clean water and sanitation);
  • Make a paper windmill and take it outside to see it move (SDG: Affordable and clean energy);
  • Find a quote you like about peace, write it out on paper and display it in your window (SDG: Peace Justice and Strong Institutions);
  • Create a “jar of hope’ by filling it with notes of wishes, hopes and ideas for the world (SDG: Reduced Inequalities);
  • Make a cartoon strip to show how climate change is affecting someone your age in a different place in the world (SDG: Climate action).

Concern’s Youth Engagement Coordinator, Sinead Morgan, said her son, Sam Murphy (9), benefited greatly from doing the insect hotel challenge in their garden in Cobh, Co. Cork.

“It took him two days to build it. He had a lot of fun and learned so much in the process too,” she said.

Concern partnered with Derry-based educational media firm Makematic and Switzerland based Horyou to create this new initiative, which is one of several being worked on by the charity.

The 17 Days to Learn challenge can be accessed on the Makematic website here or via the free Makematic app on iPhone, Apple TV, Android, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV and Roku.

For more information, please contact Kevin Jenkinson at or on 0863582886.

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