Hedge School 2019: Food, Fashion & Fuel

 

Organised in partnership with third year students from the Community and Youth Development course in TU Dublin –  Blanchardstown.

This year’s participants will look at the issues of food, fashion and fuel, how they contribute to climate change and what we can do about it!

Speakers include Saoirse McHugh, who describes herself as an environmentalist, a democratic socialist, and a grower.

Eddie Mitchell of Love Leitrim and North Leitrim Sustainable Energy Community

& renowned actor and activist Donal O’Kelly, who together with Brian Fleming and  Ellen Cranitch will perform an intriguing piece called  “Roxy’s Head is Melted”.

To register for this free event please go to: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/afri-hedge-school-2019-tickets-76758006263.

 

Reflections from Afri Hedge School 2018

“It was absolutely brilliant” was one of the comments made by a student participant in the 2018 Hedge School. The event took place in IT Blanchardstown for the 6th year in succession under the title ‘It is right to fight for human rights’. We had inspirational presentations from Emmet Sheerin of Trócaire, actor and activist Donal O’Kelly and representatives of the Rohingya people.

 

Joe Murray (Afri) with Noor Hasina and Parvena Ackter representing Rohingya Action Ireland and the Rohingya community in Carlow. Photo credit: Stephanie McDermott

 

Emmet showed a short film and spoke about the extraordinary student-led ‘Divest’ campaign, which resulted in three Universities, Trinity, NUI Galway University and Queens in Belfast committing to divesting in fossil fuels; Donal O’Kelly outlined the history and context in relation to the forced migration of people and the Rohingya told the horrific story of what has happened to them at the hands of the Burmese military.

There was also great student participation, as usual, with wonderfully creative drama pieces, powerful music and poetry.

All together a highly successful Hedge School, summed up by another student who said “a fantastic event. Hope the Afri Hedge School continues for many more years to come. It is Invaluable”.

Afri Hedge School 2018

Contributions from Donal O’Kelly – ‘Welcome the Stranger’; Emmet Sheerin (Trocáire) ‘Student Activism – A Success Story’ and 3rd year Community and Youth Development students in I.T. Blanchardstown.

 Free entry to all – donations welcome to cover costs. Lunch and tea/coffee is provided.

To register go to https://www.eventbrite.ie

Reflections from the Hedge School

Reflections by Joe Murray, Afri’s co-ordinator

Every now and then, life throws up some extraordinary surprises!

Such a moment occurred during Afri’s annual Hedge School in IT Blancharstown in November in the context of Michael Doorly’s explanation of the origins of Concern. Concern was founded in response to the Biafran War, following a series of meetings in the kitchen of John and Kay O’ Loughlin Kennedy. The new organisation’s first act was to send three ships loaded with food to the beleaguered people, caught up in the war and the poverty and hunger, which it exacerbated. When Michael had finished his presentation, Philip Uzomo stood up and identified himself as a survivor of the Biafran war and said that he’d been a recipient of the food sent on those very ships!

From left to right: Michael Doorly (Concern, Joe Murray (Afri) and Claire Devlin (Christian Aid). Photo: RoJ Whelan

Continue reading “Reflections from the Hedge School”

Afri Hedge School 2017

Afri Hedge School 2017
The Right to Food and Shelter

Tuesday 7th November, 9.45am- 3.30pm
Room A47, I.T. Blanchardstown

The 2017 Hedge School will look at some of the causes of hunger, homelessness and displacement. Organised in partnership with third year students from the Community and Youth Development course in I.T. Blanchardstown.

Free entry to all – donations welcome to cover costs. Lunch, and tea/coffee is provided.

You can book on Eventbrite by going here

Reflections from the Hedge School

ITB students speaking at the Hedge School
ITB students speaking at the Hedge School

The 2016 Hedge School took place in Blanchardstown on November 8th, the same day as the US presidential election.  To our surprise, the latter event seemed to overshadow the former! However, we are confident that the outcome of the Hedge School will be much more positive and beneficial to people and planet than that of the election! The election was a contest between two corrupt multi millionaires supported by arms companies and oil companies while the Hedge School was organized on a shoe string and with the good will of many people.

Sorcha Pollak opened proceedings with a powerful talk on Roger Casement. Casement was a great humanitarian and internationalist, who, having carried out an investigation into atrocities on Belgium rubber plantations in the Congo, was sent by the British government to the Amazon jungle to investigate atrocities committed by the Peruvian Amazon Company, which collected rubber in the region of the river Putumayo. Casement was executed four years later for his participation in the 1916 Rising.

John Maguire further explored Casement’s work in the context of his deepening awareness of the evils of Empire and of its implications for his beloved country and characterised him as an ideal symbol for today. 

Other speakers included Kay Mulhall and, the highlight of the day, Miriam, a former asylum-seeker from Uganda.  Miriam spoke about the gruelling circumstances of her life in Uganda before being forced to leave her country and seek refuge in Ireland. In Ireland she experienced the Direct Provision system which poured salt in the wounds of her previous suffering.

The students made a tremendous contribution to the day in terms of both organisation, and input. They interwove  workshops, music and the writing of a Proclamation into the fabric of the day. Special thanks to Liam McGlynn whose support, collaboration and enthusiasm adds to the very positive experience of working in ITB.

Hedge School 2016

hedge-school-poster-2016In our history, Hedge Schools were places of learning, continuity and resistance, emerging out of the draconian Penal Laws that forbade formal education to most Irish people. Learning about and resisting the causes of poverty is at the heart of Afri’s work and the Hedge School symbolizes the kind of resilience and creativity needed to address the crisis facing our world as a result of climate change and the obscenity of the war industry.

One of the major consequences of war and climate change is forced migration and what has become known as the ‘refugee crisis’. The 2016 Hedge School will explore this theme and will include input on Roger Casement, the great internationalist, humanitarian and executed 1916 leader as well as provide an opportunity to hear from refugees & asylum seekers in Ireland.

This year’s Hedge School is organised in partnership with the students from I.T. Blanchardstown.

To register for the conference, please email admin@afri.ie.  

One Earth, One Chance: Afri Hedge School 2015

 

ITB students call for action on climate change during the Afri Hedge School 2015
ITB students call for action on climate change during the Afri Hedge School 2015

The 2015 Hedge School was held in IT Blanchardstown and the focus this year was on climate change and its impact on human rights.  Students from the Social and Community Development Course, with the guidance of their lecturer, Liam McGlynn, had been preparing for the Hedge School for several weeks and students were actively involved in contributing to all aspects of the day – including workshops on the theme of climate change and human rights as well as registration of attendees, creating a short film on climate change and organising the above action: “act now or pay later”.

As well as the students’ contributions, Maitet Ledesma from IBON International, spoke eloquently about the impact of climate change in the Philippines as well as the lead into the Paris conference on climate change.  This was followed by a debate between Oisin Coghlan of Friends of the Earth and Harold Kingston from the Irish Farmers’ Association on the impact of Irish Agriculture on the climate.   Harold was arguing that the Irish climate is best suited for growing grass – which is then used in dairy or beef farming.  He also maintained that the targets set by the EU were unrealistic.  Oisin on the other hand, refuting this, stated that targets are essential to drive action to tackle climate change and held that the government weren’t even trying to meet the 2020 EU targets in order to get easier targets for 2030.  Oisin also held that Ireland needs to do its fair share to tackle climate change and should not be looking for special exemptions.  The debate was chaired by Afri chair Nessa Ní Chasaide.

After lunch Donal O’Kelly drew parallels between the nonviolent environmental activist Ken Saro Wiwa and Frederick Douglass, a freed slave, in a dramatic piece.  The day of the Hedge School itself coincided with the 20th anniversary of the hanging of the Ogoni 9 – of which Ken Saro Wiwa was part – by the Nigerian military dictatorship with the collusion of Shell.  At the beginning of the day a candle was lit by one of the IT students – who is from Nigeria – in memory of the Ogoni 9.

The day concluded with a world cafe – an opportunity for all participants to reflect on how they felt about climate change – hopeful, angry, despairing and so on – and a chance to mingle with those who felt differently.

Afri would like to thank ITB and in particular Liam McGlynn for hosting the 2015 Hedge School

Hedge School 2015: One Earth, One Change – Climate Change & Human Rights

Hedge School 2015_WEBAfri Hedge School 2015: One Earth, One Chance – Climate Change & Human Rights

I.T. Blanchardstown, Room A57

Tuesday 10th November 2015, 9.30am – 4pm

In our history, Hedge Schools were places of learning, continuity and resistance, emerging out of the draconian Penal Laws that forbade formal education to most Irish people. Learning about and resisting the causes of poverty is at the heart of Afri’s work and the Hedge School symbolizes the kind of resilience and creativity needed to address the crisis facing our world as a result of climate change and the obscenity of the war industry.

The 2015 Hedge School will explore the themes of climate change and human rights.  This year’s Hedge School is organised in partnership with the students from the Social and Community Development Course from I.T. Blanchardstown.

The 10th November 2015 is the 20th anniversary of the execution of the great nonviolent environmentalist Ken Saro Wiwa and the Ogoni 9.  We will be marking this event at the Hedge School.

To book tickets go here and visit our facebook page here.