The 2015 Cork Edmund Rice Schools Interactive Network Celebration(ERS INC 2015) is a celebration of the educational legacy of our founder Edmund Rice in Cork. The event will take place in the Millennium Hall(Cork City Hall https://goo.gl/maps/cP59a) on Monday 11th of May beginning at 9.45am. Brian Bond from Edmund Rice International will be our guest of honour. We are also fortunate to have Donncha O’Callaghan, former International and present Munster player (ex-CBC), doing an interactive session on his work as a UNICEF ambassador in Haiti & Syria. It will be a totally student focused event with separate tables for the adults/ guests to interact and discuss the issues for themselves.
Background to the Event
Looking to become members of an active Edmund Rice Network a number of schools and organisations began meeting together regularly in September 2014 to reflect on their work and shared values as Edmund Rice Projects. Comprising of staff from Midleton CBS Secondary School; Deerpark Secondary School; Christian Brothers College; and the Cork Life Centre they have formed the Cork ERN (Edmund Rice Network) Companion’s Group.
The group was keen to move from reflection to action and as its first project conceptualised a long-awaited coming together of the Edmund Rice School Community in Cork. This consists of 13 schools and projects city and county-wide (including both Christian Brother and Presentation Brother Colleges). We propose to bring together students of these schools to discuss and celebrate their shared values and identity and to move towards the possibility of becoming an active group or network.
Breakdown of the Day
Proceedings will commence in the Millennium Hall at 9.45am and finish at roughly lunchtime(1.15pm) with a short break mid-way for sandwiches and refreshments. The day itself will be organised in world café format (for more information see http://www.theworldcafe.com/method.html) The tables will be facilitated by young volunteers (18-25 years) from Edmund Rice Camps and other projects. Teachers from each of the schools will be asked to undertake the role of scribe/note-taker at the tables. Remaining teachers and invited guests will be invited to form their own table(s).
Following a brief reflection and introduction the morning will be broken into three main sessions.
Session 1 will ask students from the 13 schools in their mixed groups to look at what they like about their school community and the values that are important to them in this community.
Session 2 will move onto looking at examples of how students in school communities can reach out to the wider community. Students will then be asked to discuss how they and their schools could engage in such work and what type of work they would find valuable.
Session 3 will introduce students to guest speakers in the areas of advocacy, human rights and social justice (Donncha O’ Callaghan, UNICEF Ambassador; Brian Bond, Edmund Rice International). The topic of advocacy will be explored. As the day closes students will be asked to brainstorm possibilities in terms of coming together as a Youth Edmund Rice Network and the work they might undertake. Interested students will be invited to make a commitment to coming together to form an active Youth Advocacy Group.
We would love to have those who have had an impact on the creation of the Edmund Rice School Community in Cork and indeed in Ireland present. It is an exciting opportunity to celebrate our shared ethos, history and forge connections into the future by uniting the active voices of our young people.
For further information please use the dedicated email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or alternatively contact the Cork Life Centre @ (021) 4304391.
Rachel Lucey Paul Kelly
Cork Life Centre Midleton CBS
Kevin Barry Don O’Leary
Deerpark CBS Cork Life Centre
One thought on “Cork Edmund Rice Schools Interactive Network Celebrations 2015 – ERS INC 2015”
I attended the above event in Cork this morning. Congratulations to all involved. There was really good debate at the tables among the students from the different schools in the Edmund Rice tradition in the Cork area. They talked about what they valued about being part of the Edmund Rice school community, who are those most in need of our support locally, how can we be advocates for the voiceless in our midst, etc. Donncha O’Callaghan, an Irish International rugby player and past pupil of CBC, spoke about his role as Ambassador for UNICEF. He fielded questions from those present about his role and his career as a International rugby player. Donncha said a lot of interesting things but perhaps the one that sticks in my mind was his simple statement that he now knows the difference between standing in to a photograph for charity and being an advocate for people in need. One is about the “Ego” the other is about being a voice for the voiceless, getting your hands dirty and being changed by the experience. He told the lovely but sad story of being asked to hold a child that was starving and realising that she weighed a little more than the Rugby jersey he wore while his own daughter, who was the same age, just 9 months old, need all his strength to hold safely. The difference? One was lucky enough to be born in a part of the world where there was peace and prosperity.
People often do not understand what advocacy means and mistake it for charity. While charity will always be necessary, Br. Brian Bond pointed out that Advocacy is about fighting for peoples rights. Edmund Rice International does this especially around the rights of the child, the right to education and the right to a sustainable future. Brian encouraged the students present to become advocates for the rights of children in their area and internationally. He invited schools to consider appointing Edmund Rice Ambassadors who would keep the needs of children to the forefront of students minds.
During the day Greenmount Presentation Brothers Primary school provided a short music performance and later in the morning Blarney Street Primary school gave us a session of “hard rock” music. One of the striking things about each group, as well as their musical talent, was the international makeup of both groups. This, once again, gave the lie to those who would try to say that Catholic schools are not inclusive.
Once again, great credit is due to all those who organised the day. May it become an annual event. Maybe it will encourage other schools in the Edmund Rice tradition in other parts of the country to consider doing a similar event where both schools and projects of all types can come together to celebrate their identity.
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