16th March 2007
'Silly people think they're cool
Smarter people know they're cruel
Syringes,tablets they're all trash
They harm your health and waste your cash'
Wise words penned by Lara, a 6th year pupil at the Sacred Heart National School in Killinarden, Dublin 24. Her poem was one of a number of poems, slogans, pictures, photographs, music and conversations included in a multimedia presentation by pupils from the school that was awarded first prize in a nationwide competition on the theme of "Making a Better Ireland". This was organised by the AIB Better Ireland Programme to celebrate five years of giving funding to projects that improve children's lives.
The winning presentation on the theme of drug awareness was entered by Killinarden Drug Primary Prevention Group (KDPPG), a community initiative that was set up in 1993 by community school liaison teachers and concerned parents who believed that there was insufficient accurate information and help available for parents of children who might be abusing drugs and alcohol. Today the Group provides a comprehensive counselling, prevention and intervention service for children and their parents and this is recognised by the AIB Better Ireland Programme, which has donated more than €70,000 to the Programme to-date.
There isn't a child in the 6th Class at Sacred Heart National School who doesn't know someone who is affected by drug abuse, says School Principal, Robert O'Leary. "KDPPG has enormous credibility with both the pupils and their families and the work they do has a very strong impact. All the children are now very well aware of the dangers of drug abuse before they become teenagers or begin secondary school."
According to Alice Murray, Project Manager, Killinarden Drug Primary Prevention Group the group has already positively impacted on young people: "We don't just teach children to say no to drugs and alcohol, we aim to help them find ways of saying no without losing face among their peers. At the same time, we help parents explore the early signs and symptoms of drug and alcohol abuse."
Trish Begley from AIB Tallaght commented: "This is an area that has been ravaged by the problems associated with drug abuse, but through the KDPPG, that is starting to change. Its hugely important work has been recognised by the AIB Better Ireland Programme, which has donated more than €70,000 to the project since 2001. We're really delighted that KDPPG are a top prize winner in this competition, providing another good news story for Killinarden."