The students of Kilkenny Youthreach have lent their support to the Amber Women’s Refuge One Million Stars Against Violence project by weaving hundreds of stars for the initiative, and by building a special star tree that now takes pride of place at City Hall as part of Yulefest Kilkenny.
Kilkenny Youthreach is a full-time education programme that gives a second chance to early school leavers aged 15-20years. Operated and managed by Kilkenny and Carlow Education and Training Board (KCETB), Kilkenny Youthreach offers young people the opportunity to achieve a Leaving Certificate qualification in an out-of-school setting and develop social and personal skills in a safe and supportive environment. Learners progress to further education and training, and/or employment.
The Kilkenny Youthreach students recently completed a star weaving workshop with Siobhan McQuillan, lead artist with the Amber Women’s Refuge One Million Stars Against Violence project. The One Million Stars Against Violence project has grown since its launch in 2019 from the creation of 10 stars to over 30,000 throughout Ireland, and has succeeded in raising awareness of the problem and impact of domestic abuse and raising funds for Amber.
After creating hundreds of stars and a special star tree for the One Million Stars Against Violence project, the Kilkenny Youthreach students were invited by Kilkenny County Council to visit City Hall and display their tree for the public as part of the Yulefest programme.
Welcoming the Kilkenny Youthreach students to City Hall, the Mayor of Kilkenny, Cllr David Fitzgerald, congratulated them on their work. They had an opportunity to go behind the scenes at City Hall during the visit and speak with the Mayor about the value of projects like the One Million Stars Against Violence for the community in Kilkenny.
KCETB Youthreach Co-ordinator Michelle Murphy commented, “It is wonderful to see recognition from the Mayor and from Kilkenny County Council for our learners’ work on this project. The students came up with the idea of making a star tree that visually represents their protest against domestic violence. Amber Women’s Refuge and Siobhan McQuillan were a huge support to them throughout the process by providing education talks and weaving workshops.”
Main image caption: Kilkenny Youthreach with Mayor Fitzgerald at City Hall