NOT only did Scoil Bhride Naofa proudly raise its sixth Green Flag last week, but they also had the Kenyan ambassador present for the occasion.
On Thursday 21st June Scoil Bhride Naofa Kildare town had the pleasure of welcoming Her Excellency Catherine Muigai Mwangi to the school. Her visit was as a result of the work completed by 6th class this year on the topic of ‘Gender Inequality’. The project was initiated by the Presentation Nuns Education Office who run a project called the ‘Challenge to Change’ every year, in conjunction with Irish Aid, Department of Foreign affairs.
“We had an outstanding celebration on the day which incorporated Kenyan spirit with Irish hospitality. Her Excellency was greeted by the Kenyan National Anthem as she stepped forward to meet the children of the school. The celebration was opened with prayers in English, Swahili and Gaeilge and the Ambassador entered the school to the joyous singing of a traditional welcome song ‘Hakuna Matata’ in Swahili by the children,” Aisling O’Sulivan of the school said.
“During her visit the Ambassador addressed the 6th Class girls on the topic of ‘Gender Inequality’ and also took time out to view a dance performed by the children. Their dance was a result of months of preparation with the dance company Synergy and Light who incorporated the children’s emotions about the project into a movement piece.
To end the day Her Excellency raised the 6th Green Flag for the school which we had received this year whilst undertaking the theme of ‘Biodiversity’,” she added.
The ‘Challenge to Change’ initiative gives schools an opportunity to do projects based on topics connected with the Third World such as Human Rights, Injustice and Sustainability. This is run by the Presentation Education Office and funded by Irish Aid, Department of Foreign Affairs.
The project was about gender inequality around the world. Gender inequality is when one gender gets treated differently than the other which can be seen in many different forms. We have covered girls in education, forced marriages and maternal health. The topic of ‘Body Image’ amongst girls and the unequal amount of pressure placed on young girls to conform to a certain body type or image, was also covered.
Green-schools is an international environmental education programme, run by An Taisce and Local Authorities, that promotes and acknowledges long-term, whole school action for the environment.
It fosters a strong sense of citizenship and leadership among participants that spreads outside the school and into the community. Our theme for this year was ‘Biodiversity’.
Under the direction of Ms S. Fogarty, the whole school undertook such initiatives as reviving the school garden, learning about the habitat of native plants and animals, investigating the treasures of the ocean and the interconnectedness of all living creatures.
This work earned the sixth Green Flag for Scoil Bhríde Naofa.