By Alison Balfe
GOAL is to expand its increasingly popular Development Education programme to primary schools in Northern Ireland.
GOAL Development Education officers raised awareness of important global issues such as poverty, migration, climate change and natural disasters with over 6,000 primary school students in the Republic of Ireland last year through games, drama and discussions.
The agency is now encouraging primary schools in Northern Ireland to get involved and express their interest in a visit from GOAL to help its pupils learn about important global issues. The workshops, which are targeted at 8-12-year olds, are created to encourage children to reflect on humanitarian needs across the world and share ideas on how they might be able to help. Last year, the Development Education team visited 131 schools delivering a resource based on poverty and migration in Ethiopia which saw the children immerse themselves into the sessions with role playing and sharing their thoughts on global issues.
Schools who have taken part in the programme have highly praised the impact of the visits to their schools. Creevy National School, Donegal, received a GOAL Humanitarian Award for their dedication to the programme. Carmel Magee, a fourth class teacher in the national school said the GOAL programme helped her better engage her young pupils about global issues:
“Getting involved with GOAL's Development Education programme has helped the children become more aware of the difficulties that some people endure each day. The work was presented in an enjoyable and fun way, but when completed the children had gained so much knowledge. It was great to see the impact it made on the children, and how they were coming up with ideas on ways that we could improve the world through changing our habits as well as raising money.”
If you are a teacher who would like to arrange a Development Education workshop, please visit our Global Citizenship page here