By Aoife Mullen
DCU’s Raise and Give (RAG) Society has won the inaugural Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) Ireland competition.
RAG Soc beat teams from NUI Galway, Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin with social inclusion enterprise projects aimed at creating an “engaged, equipped and empowered student body that is active in shaping the future of Ireland”.
The Rag team, Daithí de Buitléir, Ronan O Dálaigh, Sallyanne Downes, Evelyn Boyle, Hannah Dobson and Paul Gillick, will now represent Ireland at the SIFE 2012 World Cup in Washington in September. The event will be hosted by US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton.
RAG Soc’s projects included ‘Books4 Literacy’, a wholesale second-hand book service, which would employ people with literacy problems, ‘App 4 Change’, A training and support system
for young people alienated from the formal education system to develop smartphone apps, ‘Bus Banter’, a project targeting loneliness and isolation by encouraging conversation on Dublin Bus and ‘Operation Paint Ballymun’, a project aimed at encouraging early school leavers to remain in the education system using creative arts.
The projects were judged by a panel of senior business leaders and Leinster Rugby Captain, Leo Cullen who is a non-executive director with SIFE Ireland.
Presenting Rag soc with their award, Minister for Education, Ruairí Quinn said Rag soc demonstrated “the importance and value of education as a powerful tool with which to address and engineer social change to empower communities in need”
SIFE is an international, not-for-profit organisation and the world’s largest university-based partnership between business and university students for social change.