Irish poet Terry McDonagh recently supported educate. by raising money through donations from his poetry books and talking about educate.‘s work at an event at his town hall. Hearing about this wonderful initiative, so different from how we get most of our donations, we asked if he would like to write a short piece for our blog.
We’d like to extend a huge thank you to Terry for this wonderful idea and for writing this piece!
My idea to support educate. presented itself when my wife, Joanna, talked about the purpose, aims and work of your organisation. By coincidence, it was at a time when I’d been working on a creative writing programme with Primary School children in a small community in the west of Ireland.
The workshops went very well and, as the project was drawing to a close, I felt that an evening of readings and music in the village hall would be a confidence building exercise and fitting finish to our writing programme. Parents, extended families and friends were invited.
In the days leading up to the event, the idea of talking about educate. – its emphasis on helping deprived children find direction and hope through education – grew in me. The evening was a success. I described your work in Honduras, then left some of my books on a table and asked people to take a book and leave a contribution, if they wished. I was delighted with their response.
I’m a full-time writer and former teacher. Once a teacher always a teacher and for this I am grateful. Learning to value education and the opportunities it can open up is something that has grown and continues to grow in me. I visit schools a lot and some time ago a ten-year-old boy wrote a sad story about getting to bed to escape his drunken father. At first I felt pity for the boy but, as the day progressed and he wrote unusually funny, quirky poetry, I felt confident that education would give him the strength to master his sadness and help him grow in to a creative, mature and responsible adult.
I wish all involved in educate. well. It is true that there is so much poverty, selfishness and exploitation in our world, but it is invigorating to know that there are idealistic young people who believe that they can help to empower others through positive action and education.
Keep up the good work,