Eve Dobson and Erin Connolly, students at St Mary’s College, Arklow, have this week been chosen as finalists in the national ActionAid Speech Writing Competition.
The competition, now in its third year, received entrees from over 100 students, aged 14 to 17, from more than 30 schools across the country. Eve and Erin are two of nine finalists selected to deliver their speech in Dublin on 22nd March.
There were three topics to choose from, which focused on women’s rights, resource redistribution and women’s leadership during humanitarian disasters. The quality of entrees was very high, and it was a difficult decision selecting the finalists.
CEO of ActionAid Ireland Siobhán McGee said:
“Each year we have been hugely impressed by the quality of speeches we receive, and this year the standard was really exceptional. It is clear that a lot of time and effort has gone into each speech, and it was very difficult to choose our finalists. However, Eve and Erin’s speeches really stood out in terms of the writing skills demonstrated and a very high standard of analysis.”
The top two students chosen in the final will travel with their teachers to visit Kenya to see ActionAid’s women’s rights programme first hand. The winners will be chosen by an independent panel of judges.
The Irish Government, through Irish Aid, funds ActionAid’s Women’s Rights programme in Kenya, Malawi, Nepal and Vietnam. ActionAid uses this funding to work with vulnerable communities to prevent girls from marrying young and then dropping out of school as a result and to prevent gender based violence.
The final will take place on Wednesday 22nd March 2017 in the Royal Irish Academy (RIA), Dublin from 2pm to 5pm.