Belvedere College - Action Project

Action Project

Action Project

Our CSPE Action Project

Tom Arnold ceo of Concern came into our class on Friday the 25th of November. The six of us involved met with him before he talked with the class. During this time he introduced himself and talked about some of concerns work. Then the class arrived at the lecture theatre and Edward Byrne introduced him to the class.

Tom Arnold began his speech saying how Concern was founded. It was founded in 1968 in Ireland. The first place Concern went to help was Nigeria. At this time Nigeria was under British rule. Eastern Nigeria wanted to separate itself from Nigeria. This lead to a civil war and eventually a famine and at this point Concern went to Nigeria to aid them. After this Concern began with aid for emergencies e.g. Floods in Bangladesh. Also Bangladesh was in India and there was a civil war and this led to the separation of west India to modern day Pakistan. He said that the generosity and anxiety of the Irish became apparent during these times.

Concern’s main focus is world hunger. There are approximately 7 billion people in the world, and 1 billion of these are still hunger. There are two types of hunger, acute and chronic. Acute malnutrition is where hunger causes people to die. There is not a lot you can do for these as it hard to give them enough nutrients to survive. The other type of hunger is chronic malnutrition. This is where a person does not have enough food to develop. This is a very serious problem and is Concern’s main focus on food. This means that children who have this cannot develop so they don’t reach their full potential .In Zambia 30% of people suffer with chronic malnutrition .Over the past few years Concern has made a substance  called plumpy nut. This provides all the nutrients needed in the body so this brings down the level of chronic malnutrition. Recently Concern has joined with Kerry Group to make plumpy nut cheaper and to develop other substances like plumpy nut.

The other main focus is emergencies. They try to prevent emergencies and to equip people to deal with emergencies. This is very important as without this help from Concern thousands maybe millions could die. This is where Concern gets its proud reputation and if Concern did not do this they would lose lots of their money donated. Over recent years Concern has helped Haiti and Pakistan when it was flooded.

Concern has also developed the Disaster risk reduction. They influence policies worldwide to help hunger and emergencies with the UN and leaders of most countries. Concern helps them realise what is needed and makes sure that aid is always on hand for countries in need. Also it plays a role known worldwide to help disasters too.
Concern has offices around the world including Ireland, the UK and the United States. Their headquarters are in Dublin. They have board of directors in London, Glasgow and New York too. They have 3500 people who are employed or volunteers.
Concern has funding of 167 million in its 2010 budget. This has won many awards in non-profit categories for accounts. 10% of this money is spent one administration fees, advertisement and various other expenses. The rest goes to the people in the countries in need of their help.

Concern also runs events at home. They run school debates in Ireland; this has been running for 25 years. Also they organise a worldwide writing competition which received 800 entries from Ireland last year. They also organise a campaign academy where they teach people what it is like to work for charities.

Then he allowed the class to ask him questions. Many excellent questions were asked, like, what country has made the biggest impact on your life and how does concern decide on which countries to give their donations to. He answered all these questions and made people understand what concern does. My favourite question though was when he was asked “should we not raise money for charities that work at home as we are in a recession and many people are now homeless”. He explained to us that Ireland is still one of the richest countries in the world and that charity work may start at home but it doesn’t finish at home. This I thought explained how lucky we are all are as we are still regarded worldwide a well off country considering the amount of debt we have and still people would like to live in Ireland to try and get a job .

I felt that this a very good person to invite in as he taught me that many countries still are suffering and now we should give more money than we did as the situation in these countries are getting a lot worse .

By Edward Meade and Mike Sweeney.

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