‘Lá Gaisce’ took place across Ireland on Wednesday, October 21, with this year’s theme for the President’s Award calling on adults to ‘stand with young people’ as society responds to lockdown Level 5.
More than 150 are pursuing their Gaisce Award at Bronze, Silver and Gold level in Longford and local Oireachtas representatives, including TDs Robert Troy, Joe Flaherty, Sorca Clarke and Senators Paul Daly and Micheál Carrigy supported the call to 'stand with young people' online using #LáGaisce.
Celebrating Gaisce - The President’s Award’s 35th year, Yvonne McKenna CEO says:
“Established 35 years ago as Ireland’s national youth award and the nation’s highest recognition of a young person’s initiative, achievement and voluntary contribution, Gaisce – The President’s Award is a treasured and celebrated rite of passage for young people in Ireland. Through Gaisce, young people explore what interests them about the world and how to play an active role in shaping it. While many things have been interrupted for young people during the pandemic, their Gaisce journey has remained.”
The President’s Award leader in Mercy Secondary School, Ballymahon, teacher Dylan Mulvihill said of the importance of Gaisce:
"Gaisce is an award that challenges young people in the three different areas personal skills, community involvement and physical recreation, creating the feeling of purpose and belonging is even more important during Covid 19, Gaisce offers this development in student voice.
"The President’s Award sets personal challenges for young people this allows the students to feel a sense of personal achievement which in turn enhances wellbeing and mental health. They develop skills such as working with others and time management this program is even more important in our school life now when other activities are limited."
Lá Gaisce is an opportunity to celebrate the effort and achievement of all Gaisce participants, past and present, and to acknowledge the social impact of their active citizenship. It is a non-competitive Awards programme – young people can take their own time to proceed with challenges and show commitment and resilience in order to receive their Award.
Hundreds of schools around the country celebrated the day – including running local award ceremonies for those who have completed their Bronze and Silver medals.
The awareness event trended on social media from 8am-late on Wednesday, October 21 as schools and young people shared their story online and Oireachtas members responded to the call to 'stand with young people'.