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Donegal team take home Gold at YSI Ireland Awards 2022

No Place Like Home Celebrate After Being Announced as the Young Social Innovators of the Year 2022

A 25-strong team of socially-conscious secondary school students from Loreto Secondary School, Letterkenny was awarded the title of Young Social Innovators of the Year Ireland 2022 for its ground-breaking No Place Like Home project, which aims to raise awareness and campaign for redress on behalf of those affected by the mica crisis.

The team has used its #NoPlaceLikeHome campaign to highlight the devastating impact of the crisis on the wellbeing, relationships, work and school life of those impacted and has brought the issue to international attention.

The students used their #NoPlaceLikeHome campaign to highlight the devastating impact of the crisis on the wellbeing, relationships, work and school life of those impacted, particularly on young people within their school and local community and brought a strong youth voice to an issue that has dominated the headlines in recent months.

The judges were struck by the passion, determination and activism demonstrated by the teenagers who endeavoured to show the human stories and experiences behind the mica crisis including of young people and their families who had lost or are at risk of losing their homes.

Determined that Donegal victims of the crisis would not be forgotten, the students fought to bring awareness to the plight of those affected through media outreach, student stance events, global student network activity, political lobbying and creative advocacy via music and dance. They worked with local businesses, student unions in Ireland and abroad, the Mica Action Group and local media and political representatives in the advancement of their campaign. 

They are currently working on a ‘Student Life with Mica’ documentary and, going forward, they hope to bring their campaign to the European Parliament. The students are determined that families in Donegal should have 100% redress and no less.

They will receive a prize bursary from YSI of €2000, which can be put towards developing their campaign and increasing their impact.

The No Place Like Home team was also successful in receiving the Social Media Award for its creative and strategic use of online platforms to amplify its campaign.

This year’s programmes saw participation from 6,123 Irish teenagers and the development of 423 social innovation projects nationwide on a wide range of issues including health and wellbeing, diversity and inclusion, the environment and sustainability and much more.  35 shortlisted projects competed for YSI's Challenge Awards with a variety of innovative projects.

Young Social Innovators Co-Founder and CEO, Rachel Collier, said,
“Each year, I am blown away by the passion and creativity of Ireland’s youth. Every year we see future leaders creating social innovations and addressing the challenges we are facing at local, regional, national and international levels.  These young citizens will help shape our economy, our culture and our future political arena. They have a huge part to play in shaping our future communities and society, and to be able to give them a platform to share their brilliant ideas is a huge honour. This generation, Gen Z show a great understanding of what can be achieved to create a more fair, inclusive, and sustainable society. It is truly humbling to witness such incredible passion and enthusiasm for important social causes impacting across generations. From all at YSI, we extend our sincere congratulations to today’s new titleholders, along with each and every student who took part in projects throughout the year.”