Scoil Iosaf Abbeyfeale change-makers win funding for promoting inclusivity in their school

Colaiste Ide agus Iosef, Abbeyfeale students Edel O’Rourke, Erin Mochan, Kearagh Welch, Kate Sheehan and Margaret Dore.

A team of young people from Coláiste Íde agus losef in Abbeyfeale have been awarded €500 in funding to create a welcome booklet in multiple languages for students who are learning English as an additional language (E.A.L.). The funding was given as part of their participation in the Social Innovation Den programme delivered by Young Social Innovators (YSI) in conjunction with IBM.
Teenage change-makers Edel O’Rourke, Erin Mochan, Kearagh Welch, Kate Sheehan and Margaret Dore recently successfully pitched for support for their project before a YSI Den panel of representatives from IBM, Community Foundation Youth Panel, Education Authority NI, EirGrid and Cork City Council, to enable them to access Social Impact Fund support to advance their initiative.
The YSI teams that take part in the Social Innovation Den programme can request three types of support for their projects – money, means and mentoring. The students from Abbeyfeale Community College requested financial support from the panel which they were granted.
The team’s project is titled Unity is Universal and it aims to address the issue of inclusivity, with a particular focus on helping E.A.L. students in their school integrate comfortably into their new environment. The YSI Den funding will help the group publish a booklet which will be a guide for E.A.L students. The booklet will include a map of the school, activities in the school, a uniform checklist, school rules, messages from teachers, Irish slang, the history of the town and how to say hello in different languages. The YSI Den support will also help fund resources for a dedicated E.A.L. room where language classes can take place.
Congratulating the Limerick students, Roger Warnock, CEO, Young Social Innovators, said: “Edel, Erin, Kearagh, Kate and Margaret from Coláiste Íde Agus losef in Abbeyfeale are exemplary young social innovators and we are delighted to help them get their project up and running to bring about positive change in their community. Our Den panellists rewarded these young people for their ability to develop a sustainable, high-impact project, as well as for their passion for social innovation.
“We are delighted that in 2024, the Social Impact Fund is supported by IBM. I would like to thank IBM and all our Den partners, including our panellists.”
To date, the YSI Den has provided over €150,000 in grant funding to support youth-led ideas for social change throughout Ireland.
For more information about Young Social Innovators, see