ActionAid calls for teens to enter relaunched speech competition

by Rachel Darcy

ActionAid Ireland is calling on young people to submit a five-minute speech for their newly relaunched ActionTalks competition.

The competition is now in its seventh year and is open to teenagers aged between 14 and 17. ActionAid have relaunched it this year as an entirely digital competition to make it accessible to as many students as possible during the coronavirus pandemic.

Entries can be submitted online, online and finalists will be asked to present their speech to a panel during a Zoom event in February. The first prize will be a €500 voucher for the winning student and a €100 voucher for their teacher.

Those taking part will be asked to choose one of three topics relating to international development and the Covid-19 pandemic, and write a five-minute or 600 word speech on the topic.

This year’s topics are:

  • The coronavirus pandemic is an opportunity to imagine a more equal and sustainable world, but we must act now.
  • With a shocking increase in violence against women and girls, the coronavirus pandemic has shown us that the struggle for gender equality is far from over.
  • The coronavirus pandemic has reminded us of the importance of global solidarity and international aid.

Speaking about the ActionTalks competition, Siobhan McGee, CEO, ActionAid Ireland, said: “The coronavirus pandemic has effected each and every one of us and we are developing new ways of working across of programmes. We are delighted to relaunch the ActionTalks competition as a completely digital event and to continue engaging young people in Dublin. We have also created learning resources to help teachers to get the most out of the competition.”

ActionAid provides long term support to marginalised women and children in developing countries, so they can overcome the obstacles holding them back. Its Women’s Rights programme, funded by Irish Aid (Department of Foreign Affairs), works to eliminate violence against women and girls by engaging with women and girls, as well as men and boys. Throughout 2020 the programme has also been supporting communities in Nepal, Kenya and Ethiopia to stay safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

To enter, students can ask their teacher for details or visit for more information.

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