"To us, the act of helping others creates an improved sense of well-being. Knowing that we have sacrificed something such as time and effort in order to help others in need gives us a sense of purpose in life and inner satisfaction."
The College was presented with one of the bespoke What on Earth globes as a thank you to past and present students and staff for their support for GOAL and its important work over three decades.
The school’s association with GOAL goes back to 1987 when two fifth-year students, Deirdre Keher and Emma Dwyer, suggested a no-uniform fundraising day after being moved by media reports about the suffering of millions of people.
With the full support of their religion teacher, Sheila Coady, and the then principal Sr. Kathleen Kennedy and staff, the inaugural fundraiser was a huge success. Thirty-two years later, the GOAL Committee is still going strong at St Leo’s. And Emma Dwyer, now a French and German teacher at the school, remains equally enthusiastic and supportive of the committee and its work.
In the last year alone the St. Leo’s GOAL Committee has raised thousands of euros by organising a GOAL Jersey Day, a GOAL Mile, a poster awareness raising activity and a Tesco Bag-Pack in Carlow town on International Women’s Day in support of GOAL’s work with women and children in South Sudan. The current committee of thirty members meets at least once a fortnight to plan GOAL fundraising and awareness activities.
GOAL Development Education Officer, Mura Tierney, is blown away by these students and feels they are more than deserving of this globe, titled “Who Shall Inherit the Earth”. The globe was one of 100 designed last year by some of Ireland’s top artists, and exhibited nationwide, to raise awareness of global issues such as immigration, gender inequality, climate change and the refugee crisis.
The beautifuly intricate globe presented to St. Leo's was designed by Irish artist, Noirin Dodd, who wanted viewers of this piece to visualise how they could become change agents in our world.
According to Mura Tierney: “We are so grateful to the St. Leo’s College GOAL Committee, staff and students for their hard work and support over the years. The Development Education team has visited the school several times and this award is so well deserved. We know the globe has found a great home and we hope it will remind the students of their excellence as global citizens.”
She added: “A special thanks to Ms Coady, who has been on the GOAL committee at St Leo’s ever since Emma and Deirdre suggested its formation in 1987. She is passionate about the work of GOAL and the necessity of giving students the opportunity and experience of development and human rights education.
“GOAL is also grateful to the principal, Ms. Clare Ryan, and to everyone at St Leo’s, past and present, for their long and unfaltering support down through the years. It has meant so much.“
GOAL Committee chair for 2018/2019, 6th year student Katie Patterson who has been a member of the committee since she started in the school, said: “To us, the act of helping others creates an improved sense of well-being. Knowing that we have sacrificed something such as time and effort in order to help others in need gives us a sense of purpose in life and inner satisfaction.”