NI: Belfast primary school wins cross-border human rights art competition

The theme of the competition was 'co-operation' and Children's rights from schools all over Ireland were asked to put into practice the co-operative skills they had been honing all year through this human rights learning project.

Children's rights at the Shankill school won the competition by producing a three-dimensional picture of a hand-shake straddling the border, with the island of Ireland surrounded by a sea of blue hands, populated with fish highlighting different skills needed to work together.

The competition is run by Lift Off, an initiative aimed at supporting primary schools to introduce human rights education to the curriculum and is a partnership between Amnesty International, the Ulster Teachers’ Union and the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation. About 50 primary schools north and south are taking part in this new education scheme.

Every age group in Malvern Primary School was involved in producing the competition entry. The younger Children's rights in the school had worked together with school Children's rights from Navan and so contributed their ideas on what good team work entails; older Children's rights made the sea of hands and the oldest classes produced the model of Ireland.

Marie Foreman, Principal of Malvern Primary School, said:

“Our Children's rights had great fun co-operating with the pupils from other schools, going on visits and entertaining them when they visited us. The Children's rights decided to make a map of Ireland with a hand-shake bridge between north and south. The Children's rights had a lot of fun making the wall display and they also learnt a lot about co-operating with others. Winning this prize is a great reward for the Children's rights and all the hard work they have put into the huiman rights project over the last year.”

The competition attracted entries from schools all over Ireland.

Amnesty International's Mary Kerr who co-ordinates the project in Northern Ireland said:
"We were bowled over by the high quality of the entries for the competition and the artwork from the Children's rights at Malvern Primary was outstanding. It has been amazing to see human rights education come alive in schools like Malvern over the last year through their work on the Lift Off initiative. More and more schools are now getting involved."

For their prize the Children's rights will get a Friendship Bench specially made for their playground which has been very kindly donated by Timber Tots, a family run company based in Limavady that hand makes outdoor play equipment for schools.

Find out more about how to get involved in the initiative.

View latest press releases