On April 23rd, Afri will host the online launch of three excellent educational resources. Teachers and other interested parties are welcome to attend this free event, which is supported by WorldWise Global Schools. To register, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
This year’s Féile Bríde notice comes to you with the unsurprising news that we will not be able to gather this February in the lovely surrounds of Solas Bhríde in Kildare. We will miss the fáilte and the hospitality that we’ve experienced from our Brigidine friends and Cáirde Bríde, there – and elsewhere in Kildare – every year since our first event, Brigid, Prophetess, Earthwoman, Peacemaker, back in 1993.
Organised in partnership with third-year students from the Community and Youth Development course in TU Dublin-Blanchardstown. The theme for this year’s 2020 virtual Afri Hedge School is ‘Human Rights Challenges 2020’, Racism, Conflict, Sustainability’. Human rights abuses have been laid bare during the current pandemic. At the same time we can take heart that people and movements have risen up to support those affected by these human rights challenges. Mindful of the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 and their importance in focusing action for a more equal, just and sustainable world, this virtual event will feature a blend of speakers, workshops, discussions and creative activities.
Donnah Vuma, Afri Board Member and Direct Provision Resident will speak on ‘Racism, Institutional Racism, Direct Provision in Ireland’.
Afri Film featuring Oisin Coughlin, Director, Friends of the Earth Ireland speaking on ‘Sustainability, Biodiversity, Climate Change’ followed by discussion on and the role for Community and Youth Worker to meet this challenge of our time.
The event will take place on a virtual platform (Zoom).
It is a free event, however, advance booking is essential as spaces are limited.
Date: Wednesday November 18th 2020, 10am – 2pm
For more information and to register for this free evnt, please go to :https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/afri-hedge-school-2020-online-tu-dublin-blanchardstown-campus-tickets-127898091635
“Since we can’t do the Famine Walk this year…could we do a virtual famine walk, instead”, when the question was raised, it seemed almost farcical. How could we re-create on-line the unique and extraordinary atmosphere that thousands of people have experienced on ‘the famine road’ in County Mayo over more than 30 years? But we are living in unusual times and unusual times require unusual responses!
And so the Afri team – Larysa, RoJ and I linked up with Ruairi McKiernan to explore the possibility. Ruairi had a very successful launch of his excellent new book ‘Hitching for Hope’ on line recently and he was confident that the ‘Famine Walk’ concept, as well as Afri’s network and reputation could bring a community of people together to mark this important date in the calendar. The walk began in 1988 and for many years it has taken place on the 3rd week-end in May – this third week-end in May has now become the ‘official’ date for the National Famine Commemoration in Ireland.
On May 16th at 7pm – the day on which the annual Doolough Famine Walk was due to take place, Afri will host a virtual Famine Walk Forum with distinguished guest speakers, great conversation and live music. Our host will be campaigner and author Ruairí McKiernan. He will be joined by renowned violinist Colm Mac Con Iomaire, harpist Emer Lynam and singer-songwriters RoJ Whelan and Paul O’Toole, as well as guest speakers including Emeritus Professor John Maguire, author and Lecturer Dr Clare O’Grady Walshe, MASI member Donnah Vuma and student climate activist Gráinne Malone.
At Afri’s 2020 Féile Bríde gathering, former Chelsea flower show winner, Mary Reynolds, issued an urgent call to all to become guardians of our planet and of all living species.
Afri’s Feile Bride event for 2020 was entitled ‘Rekindling; Revitalising; Rewilding and Restoring’ and was set in the context of the need for urgent action on climate change. Over recent years, many people, of all ages, are getting actively involved in fighting for change. This was reflected at the conference, where we heard from a number of mature activists who have been around for some time but also from Ruby Jo, who set up “There is no planet B” as an 11 year old activist! This shows that we can all be involved in action to tackle climate change – as Greta Thunberg says ‘no-one is too small to make a difference’. This was the 28th year of tending the Brigid flame in Kildare, which as Rita Minehan explained, was lit at the first Afri Conference in 1993 and burns as a “beacon of hope, peace and justice.” It was noted, that one of the trademarks of those who attend Féile Bríde is a spirit of positivity and hope, and a determination, no matter what, to keep on working for a better world for all.
Climate Change was the theme of the 2020 Famine Walk which began in IT Carlow and concluded in the nearby Famine graveyard. Approximately 70 young people attended from schools including Gaelscoil Eoghain and Tyndale College. Each year an oak tree is planted as part of the ceremony of remembrance and solidarity and this year the tree was supplied by two Transition Year students – Eimear and Abbie – who had set up a company to grow and sell trees as part of their course. Thanks to Eimear and Abbie for this excellent initiative and generous gift.
Thank you to all who have registered for the conference. Please note that pre-booking numbers are very high this year and priority will be given to people who have booked tickets and paid in advance. The venue has a limited number of seats available and we don’t want anyone to be disappointed.
Bookings will close at 12 noon on Friday.
Féile Bríde 2020 will take place in Solas Bhríde on Saturday, February 8th with Registration at 9.35am. The theme of this year’s Féile is Rekindling; Revitalizing; Re-wilding; Restoring.