My name is Ronan O Dalaigh,
I am from Dublin Ireland, and I want to tell you about my college society.
The Raising And Giving society (RAG) is a student run society in Dublin City University. Our vision is to see an engaged, able and empowered student body that are active in shaping the future of Ireland.
Myself and a friend started the society in September 2011 and our aim of empowering students has really shaped our year.
Firstly I want to tell you a little about me and then I will explain our society, what we have done so far and what is next!
So, I come from a poor, working-class area of Dublin and I have a lot of views and opinions on everything, from society to politics to the environment. In Ireland people generally don’t discuss major worldwide issues, which is a pity becuase our youth are so intelligent! I’m studying a business degree through the medium of the Irish language. I love the Irish language and culture and it makes me angry and sad that our indigenous language is not our primary one. Someday I believe it will be revived and I hope I live to see that day. I have strong values and I love reading inspiring quotes. Two quotes that I have built my values on are; 1. Consider it the greatest sin, to prefer life to honour, and for the sake of living to lose what makes life worth living for. 2. May the best years of your life be the ones that you are living now. I think that a lack of honour and conviction are one of the biggest problems in Irish society today, something that is very evident in our government! I also think that one should constantly be trying to grow and improve as a human being, always staying open minded, ready to accept that your ideas or opinions may be wrong but also be strong enough to fight for something knowing that you might be wrong but hoping that you will learn. Learning should never stop.
It is with these values that I founded my social initiative. It is one which aims to give Irish students a wake up call. THE WORLD IS NOT OK! Things need fixing and it is us that needs to fix them. We need to become more socially aware, more economically aware, we need to wake up! This is what we want to achieve, we want to wkae people up, show them the issues in the world that need to be dealt with and then give them the skills to go and fix the problem, grasp the oppurtunity or address the need.
Our motto is, Engage, Equip, Empower. This is how we work. We engage students, for example we ran a Boxing fundraiser in the college, students trained and then fought each other, We raised over €6000 euro and we made people aware of who we are and our aims. We tought the boxers how to fundraise money and we welcomed them into the society, we equiped them. This year, we empower!
Today we have over 500 members, in a university of 10’000. We have a large following and we are ready to take our plan to the next stage.
We are going to launch community initiatives that will be led by students and use the money we raised to invest in them.
In this new academic semester we are going to take things to the next level. Now that people are aware of us they will listen to our campaigns, they will take note of what we have to say and hopefully they will get involved.
Ireland is full of people making a difference in society and we are making links with these people and organistaions, we are learning and developing as we go.
Within ten years we aim to have a RAG society in every Irish third level education institution and a national organisation directing strategy and implementation.
Long live the dream of changing the world, heres to the future!