A group of students at St Farnan’s Post-Primary School, Prosperous, has won a nationwide competition in social innovation with a project on tackling dog abuse.
The second year students won the Junior YSI Social Innovation Action Programme and Awards (SIAPI) with the guidance of their teacher, Ms. Ward.
The group of seven, Alanna Francis, Ryan Bagnall McGinley, Bella Xue, Jane McCabe, Glen Collins, Zoe Corrigan and Eoghan Kenna, took on the social issue of dog abuse in Ireland, using a group name and hashtag which was #dogdefenders.
They began planning a social innovation week centred around how animal abuse is never OK, and how, if we are going to be responsible for an animal, then we must do our best to care for that living creature - no exceptions. The work was done during their free time.
Run in the school it was primarily targeted at first years.
Other staff, primary schools and local anti-dog abuse organisations also got involved, spreading the message.
St. Farnan’s Post-Primary School is the first school in the country to receive this award as this is the first year junior cycle students have taken part.
The group found that half of Irish households had at least one dog which made them realise how important educating people about dog abuse could be.
The project included fundraising for the DSPCA, an organisation helping animals.
A bake sale raised €220 was raised in the space of the 45 minute lunch time break thanks to staff and student support and contributions.