Donegal teen celebrates World Children’s Day at virtual Child Talks 2020

Event aims to elevate the voices of children and young people

Donegal teen celebrates World Children’s Day at virtual Child Talks 2020

Child Talks 2020 participants Emer Neville from Clonmel and India from Laghey in Donegal with the Ombudsman for Children Dr Niall Muldoon

Donegal teen India Kennedy (17) from Laghey took to the virtual stage last Friday, November 20, as participant in the third annual Child Talks event.

Child Talks is an annual Ted Talks style event, organised by the Office of the Ombudsman for Children (OCO) that aims to elevate the voices of children and young people and provide a unique platform for them to share their stories and vision.

An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin TD and the Ombudsman for Children, Dr Niall Muldoon joined speakers from across Ireland aged 8 to 18 years as they took to the virtual stage to cover a range of topics including mental health, individuality at school, the environment, living with autism, homelessness, youth activism and cultural identity.

India’s talk for Child Talks 2020, which was broadcast on RTE News Now and can be watched back the OCO website https www. OCO.ie was on how she reacted when she saw the impact of Covid-19 on the mental health of young people.

India developed a mental health manual by young people, for young people called How is your Head? A guide to staying afloat post Covid-19.

In a special message to the participants and the young viewers across the country Mr Martin said: “The stories and experiences of the participants of Child Talks 2020 illustrate how children and young people are often leaders in times of change and challenge.

"I appreciate how difficult the past few months have been for young people, how much they have missed out on, and I understand that they are worried about their families and friends. I also know how resilient and strong young people are and how supportive they are of each other.

“Be proud of all the things you have already achieved, bring the learnings and experiences of the last eight months with you into the future, and make your family, your society and the world a better place.”

Due to Covid-19 restrictions Child Talks, which normally takes place as a live event, was moved entirely online. Each of the speakers and the hosts, under the guidance of the OCO Child Talks team, recorded their story from their own homes all over Ireland.

Child Talks 2020 can be watched back on www.oco.ie

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