Mia Ellison, 17, from Howth, is a student making a difference in her community and is a supporter of GOAL.
With Jersey Day just around the corner, Mia shared her story and the passion she feels for GOAL’s work with vulnerable communities. On Jersey Day, Friday October 8th, people across Ireland are invited to show their true colours to raise funds to help GOAL’s work all over the world.
Life Changing Moment
Currently in 5th Year at Sutton Park School, Mia’s life changed when GOAL founder, John O’Shea, spoke to her class two years ago. His stories and entrepreneurial spirit inspired her to affect change and get involved with GOAL in her own way.
Later, when an opportunity presented itself to take a student trip to Gambia to volunteer, she found herself unable to go and was completely devastated. This was her dream, but she promptly took this as an opportunity to take her passion and focus it on helping in her own way.
Mia Takes Action
In true GOAL spirit, Mia took initiative and presented an idea to her school principal. She wanted to start an activist group at school, centred around making change, spreading awareness, and educating people on global issues and GOAL’s mission. A year later, they meet every Wednesday to discuss how they can affect change.
Outside the walls of her school, the group visits primary schools across Dublin, to give presentations on why GOAL’s work is so important and how vital it is to bring people together in the global fight against issues such as climate change, extreme poverty and hunger.
“We are in different primary schools in Dublin to spread awareness to young people of issues impacting millions of people around the world and how GOAL responds.”
Mia recently organised an awareness raising walk with her school, in the lead up to this year’s Jersey Day. Three hundred fellow students and teachers left the classroom to walk in support of people experiencing poverty and crises around the world. crises such as the recent earthquake in Haiti, where GOAL is currently providing emergency relief to thousands of people.
Reflecting on GOAL’s impact, Mia says, “to quickly respond, support and improve communities ability to deal with future crises – that is why GOAL’s work is incredible. It would be a dream to someday spend time on the ground and work with the communities GOAL supports.”
With Mia’s group at school, she hopes it will inspire her peers to follow in her footsteps but understands that it is a challenge.
“It’s hard when you’re young. Being young and trying to have a voice is a challenge. Not everyone takes us as seriously as we want them or expect them to, but we still have to try.”
She will be wearing the GOAL Jersey on 8th October. Wear your favourite county, club, country or provincial team jersey to show your support. Funds raised on GOAL Jersey Day will go towards the GOAL’s life changing work in emergency response, health, nutrition, and livelihoods in 14 countries. Last year alone GOAL reached more than 14.3 million people with support across Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.