Calling all young people to challenge global injustice 

  • Date: 12/10/2022
  • Author: Jo-Ann Ward

ActionAid Ireland is calling for young people aged 14 to 18 to write a five-minute speech for the ActionTalks national speech writing competition. The top prize for the national winner is a €500 voucher.  

The competition, now in its ninth year, is an opportunity for young people to explore the root causes of local and global injustices and inequalities. This year’s themes focus on the climate emergency, women’s rights and unpaid care work and economic injustice.  

ActionAid works with women and children, as they take the lead in claiming their human rights to build a more just world. ActionAid’s Women’s Rights programme, funded by Irish Aid, Department of Foreign Affairs, works to eliminate violence against women and girls. Irish Aid programmes are funded by Irish citizens and are part of Ireland’s important global role.

Take part in the ActionTalks competition by writing 600 to 800 words speech on one of three topics.

The topics

  • Current efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt are not enough to tackle the speed and scale of climate change, meaning that some losses and damages from climate change are inevitable. Women and children in particular on the front line. Rich countries should pay their fair share for the loss and damage their energy consumption has caused in poorer nations.  
  • Care, both paid and unpaid, while largely a burden for women, is the responsibility of everyone in society and there should be a human right to care. Discuss.  
  • Education is a right for all children. Beyond aid and charity, what are the ways that the Irish government could support children accessing education (for example through tax structures, debt and economic policies)  

How to enter

Submit entries by email in written form. Fifteen successful entrants will go forward to the regionals final, with six regional winners winning a €50 voucher each. At the national final in March, the six finalists will present their speeches to a panel of esteemed judges. The national prize is a €500 voucher for the winner and a €100 voucher for their teacher. 

Students can ask their teacher for details or find more information here.

Teachers can download classroom resources here.   

CEO of ActionAid Ireland Karol Balfe said:

“We are delighted to launch the ActionTalks speech writing competition again this year. The world is facing multiple crises and many injustices are growing globally. Young people’s voices need to be heard on important global issues. This competition is an opportunity for young people to explore some of the causes of these current crises and also explore solutions and alternatives to create a more just, fair and sustainable future. We can’t wait to see what students come up with this year.”   

Karol Balfe continued: “It’s really easy to enter! Students just email their speeches in, and fifteen students will go forward to the regional finals, where the winners get a €50 voucher each. Then in March, six finalists present their speeches to a panel of expert judges, the overall winner can get a €500 voucher, and €100 for the teacher. Based on previous years, we are sure that entrants will come up with innovative, well-researched, and creative speeches, using their own unique perspective.” 

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