Wednesday, 23rd October – Spirit Store, Dundalk.
A crowd of over 100 engaged community members came together Wednesday, October 23rd to celebrate the actions of Drogheda based NGO Development Perspectives’ 2019 SDG advocates. The crowd was filled with representatives of local businesses, nonprofits, educational institutions, as well as artists, students and of course, advocates from Vietnam who travelled to Ireland to be part of the night.
The event featured guest speakers, presentations, panel discussions, interactions from the audience and delicious Vietnamese snacks. To kick off the event the audience was asked to highlight issues they felt were particularly relevant to their communities. Issues such as mental health and environmental issues were proposed by several members of the audience, host and director of Development Perspectives Bobby McCormack then drew connections between each issue with the others and with the Sustainable Development Goals.
A documentary produced by Programme Leader Tom Noone was then screened which took the audience on a journey to Sung Village and Da Bia, Vietnam and of course into the programme itself.
The advocates then had the opportunity to showcase the Action Projects they have been involved in since returning home from the overseas element of the programme. Projects that were showcased included Nga from Vietnam who explained the website she was developing designed to teach children more about the environment, Karen who talked about the homemade cleaning products she has been developing with her students, Michaeline who explained her gender equality focused project "Girl Does Good' and Nguyen who described her project which focuses on mental health.
The audience also an opportunity to interact with the advocates, asking questions or contributing comments to what they had heard.
Keynote speaker Dr David Grimes then took to the stage where he was interviewed by Bobby McCormack about his book 'The Irrational Ape', the importance of critical thinking and the damage misinformation can do.
David was followed by a panel discussion including Don Tuan Phuong, from Development Perspectives' Vietnamese partner organisation Centre for Sustainable Development Studies, Elaine Mahon from the Irish Development Education Association and Mbemba Jabbi from the Africa Centre Ireland who spoke about this importance of the Sustainable Development Goals and applauded the commitment of the SDG advocates.
The audience was given the opportunity to ask questions of both the panel and the keynote speaker.
The night closed with a return to the host Bobby McCormack who thanked the audience for their time and participation.
To find out about the journey taken by the SDG advocates go to www.developmentperspectives.ie/sdgchallenge