ActionTalks: students invited to take part in national writing competition

  • Date: 15/10/2020
  • Author: Jo-Ann Ward

The newly relaunched ActionTalks is now open for entries.

A powerful speech can change the world.

We are asking young people in Ireland aged 14 to 17 to submit a five-minute speech for our newly relaunched ActionTalks competition. 

Now in its seventh year, the competition has been relaunched as an entirely digital competition to make it accessible to as many students as possible during the coronavirus pandemic.

Entries will be taken online, and finalists will be asked to deliver their speech to a panel of esteemed judges during a Zoom event in February.


Young people will be asked to choose one of three topics relating to international development and the global coronavirus pandemic and write a five-minute or 600-word speech.

This year’s topics are:

1. The coronavirus pandemic is an opportunity to imagine a more equal and sustainable world, but we must act now.
2. With a shocking increase in violence against women and girls, the coronavirus pandemic has shown us that the struggle for gender equality is far from over.
3. The coronavirus pandemic has reminded us of the importance of global solidarity and international aid.

We are looking for innovative, well-researched, and creative speeches – with students using their own unique perspective from growing up in a pandemic.

“The coronavirus pandemic has affected each and every one of us and we are now developing new ways of working across programmes. We are delighted to relaunch the ActionTalks competition as a completely digital event and to continue engaging young people in Dublin. We have also created learning resources to help teachers to get the most out of the competition.”

-Siobhán McGee, Chief Executive, ActionAid Ireland.

To enter, students can ask their teacher for details or learn more about it here.

The first prize is a €500 One4All voucher for the winning student and a €500 One4All voucher for their teacher.

Women’s Rights Programme

ActionTalks is part of our Women’s Rights programme, funded by Irish Aid (Department of Foreign Affairs). The programme promotes engagement with the Irish public to raise awareness about global issues.

The Women’s Rights Programme also works to eliminate violence against women and girls by engaging with women and girls, as well as men and boys. The programme has also been supporting communities in Nepal, Kenya and Ethiopia to stay safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

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