The Conference for the second transnational week here in Ireland started in Skibbereen Community School on Friday the 31st August at 12:30 pm with an introduction from Alicia O’Sullivan and Áine Seymour, followed by a video produced by StoriCreative about the purpose of ‘Changing Minds’.
It was then passed on to Susan O'Regan (Youth Facilitator) for the Skibbereen girls. She spoke about the passion that has been shown towards the project and all the hard work being put in by young and old participants of the project.
Marie Cregan, founder of The Aurelia Trust, gave a brief insight into how the charity began and thanked everyone for the work gone into the project.
Muirios Waugh and Eric Wickens then played an original song which the Romanians found very intriguing.
Then it was handed over to the youth participants. First up was the Galati group who spoke about the Ceaușescu Regime and the effects of it. Next to take the mic were the boys from Castlebar who spoke about the charities in Ireland who work for people with disabilities and a short reflection of their time involved in the project.
Then it was the Negru Voda group who showed a video of three people who lived through the Ceaușescu Regime.
Finally the Skibbereen girls were up to give the statistics from a survey they did back in November with a number of students from the school about how much they know about The Aurelia Trust, Changing Minds and Erasmus Plus, and they also gave reflections of the week.
There was an interlude for beautiful music from Róisín Harte Leonard. Aine Seymour gave a few words on the success of the entire project from fundraisers to spreading awareness to the experiences we’ve all had and to the friends we’ve made.
Alicia O’Sullivan then addressed the room about disabilities and simple interaction strategies everyone can use. Minister Jim Daly addressed the room in Irish and spoke highly of the project and the work being done by young people. It was concluded by Principal Anton O'Mahony who welcomed the Romanians and said he was very proud of his students and all involved. Susan O’Regan had the last word by thanking all involved and for being there and invited everyone down to the Learning Resource Center for light refreshments,music and a tour.
The conference ended with traditional Irish music from Davina and Saoirse Connolly and Molly McQueen.