Recently JPIC held a homelessness awareness week alongside the commemoration of Mary Ward Week. Our theme for the week was ‘Homeless not Hopeless’ . We aimed to inform the students on the homelessness crisis in Ireland today and to end the stereotype of what it means to be homeless. We organised many events throughout the week to get the whole school involved.
On Monday, we did peer-teaching with the 1st, 2nd and 4th year classes and informed them about the homelessness crisis that Ireland are facing today. We had a quiz as a part of our PowerPoint presentation and showed videos and statistics to help the classes understand the topic better.
On Tuesday, we ran a letter writing campaign in the supervision room at lunchtime. The aim of the campaign was to get students to write letters to the government about their opinions on the homelessness crisis and how they think the government should handle the situation. The involvement of the school was amazing and we received more than 60 letters from girls who gave up their lunchbreak to take part. Thank you to all! We hope to send them to Simon Coveney at the Dáil as soon as we can.
On Wednesday, we screened videos in the auditorium about homelessness. We screened videos that we had been shown in the Peter McVerry Trust homelessness workshop in October.
On Thursday, we held a treasure hunt at lunchtime and the teams involved had to search for clues including statistics and facts on homelessness. The very happy winners received a chocolate bar each.
On Friday, the JPIC members participated in a ‘Vow of Silence’ to show our solidarity with those in our society who do not have a voice. We were not allowed to communicate or talk to each other for the whole school day and we marked this action by drawing a large ‘X’ over our mouths with face paint. The action certainly grabbed the attention of the rest of the school and made them all aware of our homelessness week. As for the JPIC members, we all got a real insight as to what its like to not have a say and what it is like to feel isolated from the people around you.
Throughout the week we peer taught the younger classes and ran a sanitary product donation drive. The donation drive involved students donating spare tampons/pads to the Simon Community by leaving them in boxes that we had placed in the bathrooms around the school. The drive will continue until the February midterm and has so far been a great success!
Thank you to anyone who participated in the events that we held during the week and we hope that you all gained something from it.
From 4th year JPIC