A group of students from CBS Secondary School in Mitchelstown were celebrating this week, as their project on farm safety won the bronze award and social entrepreneurship award at the national final of the Young Social Innovators in Dublin.
The competition aims to inspire young people to advocate for and actively create positive change in their communities with social innovation projects.
ON A ROLL
Principal of CBS Secondary School, Mary Hannon congratulated the students – Richard Maher, from Burncourt; David Blackburne, from Ballindangan and Colin Devaney and Kevin Coleman, from Mitchelstown – as well as Ms Ryan, for their hard work and dedication.
“They are on an absolute high, we are just delighted,” the principal said, adding that the school are on a roll at the moment having recently won a number of awards and accolades.
Speaking at the event, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny said: “Making people’s lives better in a fairer society is what this initiative is all about and I firmly believe that projects here today are doing just that, enriching our society and bringing communities that are more diverse than ever, even closer together.”
The CBS students developed a farm safety pack for children after they realised that farm accidents, both locally and around the country, were on the rise.
Speaking about the project and what prompted them to take on such a subject, the students said; “We decided to tackle the huge problem of farm related accidents in our local area, particularly among young children”.
Cleverly, the group called themselves C.A.L.F, standing for Calling All Little Farmers.
Even though farming is the most dangerous occupation, in terms of injuries and fatalities, the students noted that there is no compulsory education programme.
In order to address this, they wrote a book about farm safety and put together a farm safety pack, made up of a book, wristbands, high visibility vests and colouring posters.
The pack is aimed at children aged between six and 12, as this is when children typically start to become interested in farming, but might not be aware of safety measures that need to be taken.
“We intend to raise awareness of the dangers that surround farming life and tell children to stay safe on the farm, especially 6-12 year olds, in a fun, simplistic and educational manner,” one of the group members explained.
OTHER AREA FINALISTS
Students from Presentation Secondary School, Mitchelstown and Loreto Secondary School in Fermoy were also finalists in Dublin, but unfortunately failed to claim any awards on the day.