The Peace and Justice group is a voluntary group within the school. We are part of a movement within Loreto schools that works for Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation. We meet on the first and third Tuesday of each month at lunch time in the sewing room. The group is open to students from all year groups and we are delighted to see so many first year students joining us this year. Under the leadership of the senior students, especially our Social Awareness Prefect Shona Mckenzie, the experience of all year groups working together to build a deeper awareness of justice issues both at home and abroad within the school is one of the special features of the group.
The primary objective of the group is twofold, primarily it is to raise awareness of justice issues both at home in Ireland and in the wider world and secondly to raise money to support worthy projects.
Of special interest to us here in Loreto Bray is our sister school in Rumbek, South Sudan. The principal is Sr. Orla Treacy from Bray, Sr. Orla is an ex student of the school and has visited us many times here and has addressed the Peace and Justice group. This has given them a special awareness of the important work that is being done by the school in South Sudan. We had a non uniform day and a raffle in January and raised over 1,500 euro which will go directly to the school in Rumbek.
The Peace and Justice group are very involved in organising Mary Ward Day every January and this year was no different with the group throwing themselves into organising a great day of activities to raise awareness of 100 years since women received the vote. The members of the Peace and Justice group dressed up as suffragettes and were key to the success of the day. They also met the key note speaker at our special assembly, Mrs Mary O’Rourke for a very interesting question and answer session before the special assembly and Mrs. O’Rourke was very impressed to see so many students involved in the group.
Another important link that we have made is with the group 80/20 a NGO here in Bray who work with many schools in the area to raise awareness of Justice Issues. They have already facilitated several workshops here in the school, and are forging links between Loreto Bray and other schools in the area including Presentation College and Woodbrook.
We look forward to a very productive few months ahead. We are now turning our attention to the Trocaire fast. The school won an award from Trocaire as one of the top ten schools to raise money for them in the country and we hope to continue to be a support to this important charity while at the same time encouraging our students to become involved in social action to help tackle the underlying causes of poverty in the world.