Northern Ireland: Human rights prize awarded to Shankill Road primary school

Pupils at Malvern Primary School, near Belfast's Shankill Road, will be presented today (15 January) with a hand-made “friendship bench”, their prize for winning a cross-border human rights art competition. The competition was run by Lift Off, a local initiative which supports primary schools to introduce human rights education into their schools.

For the competition, pupils were asked to produce a piece of work which illustrated how they thought human rights could be respected. The Children's rights at Malvern created a 3D papier-mache model of clasped hands straddling the border to demonstrate the importance of co-operation.

Their prize is a six-sided Friendship Bench, hand-made by David McElwee of Timber Tots in Limavady. This bench will be placed around a tree in the playground and will be a place where Children's rights can sit and talk quietly with their friends.

The Lift Off Initiative is a partnership between Amnesty International, Ulster Teachers’ Union and Irish National Teachers’ Organisation. If you would like to find out more about the initiative you can visit the local Amnesty website at www.amnesty.org.uk/ni or contact the office in Belfast on 028 9064 3000.

Mary Kerr, the Lift Off project coodinator said:

"The Children's rights produced a beautiful art work, but more importantly, in the process, they learned about their rights and responsibilities as young citizens in the world today."

Note: the presentation tales place today (Monday 15 January) at Malvern Primary School, Forster St, Belfast at 11:15am. Present will be Marie Foreman, school Principal; Mary Kerr of Lift Off initiative; David McElwee of Timber Tots; and Children's rights from the school.

Find out more about Lift Off /p>

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