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2020 was a very strange year for everyone, and for none more so than the young people of Ireland, who were asked to stay apart from their friends, who at that age mean everything to them.
Pat, the principle at St Vincent’s De Paul Girl’s School Marino, was determined to get things back to normal when school finally resumed in September 2020
‘’There was so much to make up for, I just wanted them to get back to real-life interactions and connecting face-to-face again.’’
He felt that while the girls had shown huge resilience, they had missed out on so much of the social and community aspect that school brings. Once everyone had settled back into a routine, he wanted to bring them together to do something special as a group again.
‘They had always loved all of the extra activities we did as a school; sports, visiting the residents of a local care home and music.’
Teachers got together to talk about how they could ignite the students again in a meaningful way. The idea of fundraising was something close to Pat’s Heart. ‘’I still remember the amount my school friends and I raised over 30 years ago for the famine happening in Cambodia, it meant something to us all.’’
So, they decided to put it to the pupils to work together and decide what cause they wanted to raise funds for. Pat was amazed at the process they went through and the passion they showed. In the end they decided they wanted to support Trócaire. ‘’They were very passionate about the Gifts of Love and wanted to raise money for a very practical cause. They spent a long time deliberating over where they wanted the money to go, it was amazing to see’’
Next the teachers got together to think about what they could do to overcome the obstacles of the COVID-19 restrictions. The idea of creating a music video was born.
They wanted the whole school involved to create something iconic that everyone would recognise. They chose the Live Aid song and got to work by holding auditions and encouraging everyone to join in. It was logistically quite challenging as they had to record the song in pods under the strict guidelines that were in place at the time, but with their enthusiasm, they made it work.
‘’It was so good to see them shine, we didn’t even know some of the pupils could sing so it was great to see them up there with so much confidence.”
With the help of tech-minded pals, patient teaching staff and enthusiastic pupils they came together and successfully achieved the common goal of raising money to help those in need. But they got so much more from it than that. It helped them connect again and do something meaningful and create life-long memories in the process.
Pat still remembers the exact amount his school bake sale raised all those years ago, – 135 pounds and 10 punts, because it meant something then and it still does today.
Check out the performance of the song Live Aid by the Pupils of St Vincent De Paul Girls School Marino. We hope you enjoy it and that it inspires you and your school to think about how you might be able to come together to achieve.