DCU Enactus Society represents Ireland at World Cup in Toronto

Enactus HeadstARTS programme engages with individuals with intellectual disabilities

DCU Enactus Society competed in the 2016 Enactus World Cup in Toronto, Canada, last month representing Team Ireland.

While there were just five members of the society giving their 17 minute presentation, 53 members from different branches of the society traveled to Toronto as part of Team Ireland.

The five members of Enactus DCU who spoke at the World Cup were current chairperson Jack Kane, Matthew Hewston and Hannah Dobson along with both the outgoing chair and vice-chair Roisin Nestor and Alison Ring. Sinead McCool was also a vital member of the presenting team who controlled the tech making sure the digital presentation ran smoothly.

Although team Ireland did not make it through the first round in Canada, Jack Kane explained that, due to Enactus being relatively new, it was hard to compete with other countries with projects running for longer than Enactus Ireland itself.

“The next stage really for Ireland is to be able to put projects in place that can run over 5-6 years and through multiple teams so that when they get brought to World Cup they can make a bit more of an impact with the big hitters,” he said.

Enactus is a charitable organisation which allows third level students to create entrepreneurial projects which positively impact both local and global communities. Enactus DCU have created multiple social projects over their four year existence in the University. However, there were just two chosen to be showcased in Toronto, HeadstARTS and Prison Break, which are both based on campus.

HeadstARTS is an interactive class for people with intellectual disabilities who participate in a range of activities including dance classes, drama classes and art. This project, powered by volunteers, was founded in 2012 and has been such a success that Enactus NUIG have started running HeadstARTS classes from their campus with the permission of Enactus DCU.

Prison Break was created last year to help Kieron, an ex prisoner, reintegrate back into society. Kieron was enabled by Enactus to begin running fitness classes with students on campus and said, “it meant that I was able to have an extra few quid for bus fares to go and see my kids which was great.”

“I’ve never felt judged coming here. I’ve never felt judged at DCU college and that’s a big hurdle to get over and it gives you a lot of confidence then… you can be your natural self,” he added.

Andrew Byrne

Image Credit: Andrew Byrne

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