We are encouraging students from schools across the country to take part in a social media challenge to help those less fortunate in the developing world.
Many of us associate Lent with giving something up so as part of this year’s Lenten campaign we are asking post-primary students to give up something for Lent that may prove easy for some but incredibly difficult for others – social media.
The ‘Sign Up Sign Out Challenge’ takes place this week, although the challenge can be done any time during Lent (finishing on 1st April), and we are hoping that students, who are old enough to have social media accounts, will log out of social media and log in to real life for 24 hours. During the time that they are offline we are hoping they will seek sponsorship or organise fundraising events in aid of Trócaire.
It’s a light-hearted way of getting across a very serious message. Throughout the developing world children face huge challenges. Kumba, the little girl on this year’s Trócaire Box, is only seven year’s old but has already survived an Ebola outbreak that killed 4,000 in Sierra Leone and a landslide that killed 1,000 of her neighbours and has missed school as a result.
This break away from the ever-present Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram will hopefully give Irish students the opportunity to reflect on life outside the digital world and give them the opportunity to help some of the poorest children in the world.
We have been receiving positive feedback from teachers and parents who are welcoming the students ‘time-out’ from social media. Students taking a short break from living their lives on social media to spending time with friends and family and thinking of others is a campaign many parents are getting behind.
To find out more about the challenge or to sign up visit www.trocaire.org/signupsignout
Ali O'Connor, Patrick Conlon, Efel Clabby, Juan Padilla, Evan Chalmers and Rebecca Gill from Mercy Secondary school Ballymahon, Longford. Photo: Michelle Ghee.