Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone, TD, this week (March 5) visited Oberstown and sat down with six young people to hear about their lives in detention. The Minister was responding to a letter that the Oberstown Campus Council wrote to her, inviting her to meet them.
The young people wrote: “We are aware that sometimes you only hear about the negative things that happen at Oberstown, so we would like to invite you to come and meet us to hear about the accomplishments of young people, and what can be achieved during our time here.”
On Monday, the Minister heard about a wide variety of activities young people undertake in Oberstown, and about some of their own initiatives for raising money for charity. Young people completed Gaisce awards, the first time this was ever undertaken in Oberstown. As part of the Oberstown Campus Council, young people worked to develop a framework for the council – a process for how it works. Young people also raised a significant mount of money for charity throughout 2017. They raised:
- €721.50 through a 5km Run for Irish Cancer Society.
- €800 worth of goods in 52 shoe boxes & 5 family hampers in a homeless shoebox appeal.
- €370 through a Cake Sale for St. Francis Hospice & The Irish Cancer Society
- €65 with homemade Christmas Tree Decorations in aid of Peter McVerry Trust.
The Campus Council also acted as an advisory group to the department of Children and Youth Affairs to assist them in consulting young people on new national standards for detention. During the meeting, Minister Zappone commended young people for their accomplishments and congratulated them for setting a good example to others in Oberstown, and for leaving behind a worthy legacy.