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St Clare’s Abbey Primary School, Newry

Shoe Box Appeal

21st Dec 2018



Why is having a home so important?

We believe that having a place to call home is the most fundamental of human rights.

‘Home’ is a powerful word. It means many things to many people. At its most basic, we believe that the word ‘home’ means a safe and secure place where you can truly be yourself.

We all take having a home for granted. But imagine if you woke up tomorrow to the news that you’d lost your home. What would you do? Where would you go? What would it mean for your job? What would it mean for your children’s schooling?

Imagine not having a say in when you’d like to go to sleep. Imagine not having cooking facilities. When you don’t have a home, every mundane, routine aspect of your day becomes another hurdle to overcome. And now imagine you have a young family to look after, and you’re in nightmare territory.

The right to housing is recognized by the United Nations (Article 25 in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) and the UN has been active in highlighting homelessness as a violation of human rights.

Homelessness has been a long-running problem in Ireland, despite numerous pledges from politicians to tackle the crisis. Every night many are forced to sleep rough on the streets, especially in Dublin, Belfast and even in our own town of Newry because they can't find a suitable bed for the night. Listen to some of the personal stories from the homeless.

The UNICEF Rights Respecting Steering Group agreed that there was a strong link between Article 27 and the issue of homelessness. They had no hesitation in agreeing to promote and support local homeless people through the Newry Helping the Homeless (NHTH) Christmas Shoe Box Appeal. 

Article 27

You have the right to food, clothing, a safe

place to live and to have your basic needs met.

You should not be disadvantaged so that you

can't do many of the things other kids can do.

The shoe boxes were designed to help those living on the street and in order that the boxes contained a variety of necessities each class was requested to bring in a particular item.

P1/P2 pupils brought in crisps and biscuits; P3 pupils brought in cans and bottles of soft drinks; P4 pupils brought in tins of food; P5 + ECPD pupils brought in sweets; P6 pupils brought in hygiene products; P7 pupils brought in items of clothing.

The response from our parents and pupils was amazing. The UNICEF Rights Respecting Steering Group were able to fill over 100 Shoe boxes which were collected, dispatched and delivered to the needy by Newry Helping the Homeless.