Forget Me Not
FORGET ME NOT
David College, Mallow, Co. Cork
The Social Issue:
In 2011 The Forget Me Not campaign grew from the simple aim to help a family that the YSI Team knew were suffering from a missing persons case. They wanted to raise awareness for the issue of missing people in Ireland in general and to raise funds for continued searches so that missing people are not forgotten.
When the Forget Me Not campaign, an awareness campaign for Ireland’s missing people, began in 2011 none of the students could have imagined the impact it would have on the families of the missing in the coming years. What started as a YSI project spearheaded by a group of inspired teenagers in Davis College, Mallow turned into a national campaign that would provide hope and solidarity for more than 900 families in Ireland and help further UN Sustainable Development Goal 16: "Promote sustainable peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels".
The project began with the team outlining clear objectives that would help achieve their aim. The team developed an “Exit Point Strategy” which was displayed in Irish ports, airports and ferries. They also presented their campaign to President Michael D Higgins and asked him to plant an oak tree in the president's garden as a symbol of hope for the people who have gone missing. The team went on to collect 12,000 signed petitions and presented them to the government to lobby for a National Missing Persons Day.
"While working with our heads of government was an empowering process during the campaign, the greatest satisfaction came from helping the families of the missing"
National Missing Persons Day was declared in Ireland and takes place on the first Wednesday of December annually. Since being involved in the Forget Me Not campaign one of the team developed a keen interest in working in the area of social innovation and social justice. During her undergraduate degree at University College Cork she was awarded the Quercus Active Citizenship Scholarship as a result of her involvement in the Forget Me Not campaign. What’s more she continued working with YSI as a Den panelist and speak out panelist. She wants to dedicate her career to making a difference in Ireland and beyond.