Anne Marie Crean, Reclaiming Self, Cork
Anne Marie has spent her last 2 years of volunteering dedicated to helping survivors of historical institutional child abuse. She founded Reclaiming Self, established the Board and is the main driver of the strategic planning and development of the organisation. She has previously run a volunteer drop-in centre in order to provide survivors with a place and safe space to both educate themselves and to also develop a sense of community among this group. She also works closely with survivors of other forms of historical abuse.
She has written and submitted a parliamentary report to the Educational Committee of the Oireachtas on Caranua and was the principal author of Reclaiming Self’s submission to the United Nations Committee against Torture. She attended the UNCAT NGO session and advocated strongly on behalf of survivors. She funded herself to complete both reports and also to attend the UNCAT session in Geneva this summer. She has also volunteered as a consultant with other projects closely linked with issues experienced by the survivor community.
Kate Lehane, STEPS, Cork
As a volunteer with the STEPS programme, Kate is asked to take part in two school visits or activities throughout the school year. She not only takes part in that activity plus more, she arranges training sessions with Engineers Ireland to get more volunteers involved in the entire STEPS programme, she organises family events for parents and children because parents are huge influencers on their children, she has arranged for other volunteers to visit libraries all over Cork. She has introduced STEPS to partners in Cork who can assist the programme’s mission which has a very limited budget.
According to Roseanne who nominated here “She ensures that the next generation of dreamers who will shape our future have access to a role model whether it is herself or another engineer. The joy of engineering the future belongs to the young and she puts herself out there front and centre as a role model to them and I couldn’t think of anyone who would do a better job.”
Mohammed Rafique, Rohingya Council/CW Integration Forum, Carlow
Rafique moved to Carlow in 2009 as part of a UNHCR resettlement programme. He is Rohingya: originally from Myanmar (Burma) but lived in a refugee camp in Bangladesh for seventeen years before being brought to Ireland. He volunteers as the media coordinator/PRO for the European Rohingya council who advocate for the human rights of Rohingya people globally and seek recognition/action at a political level. He is secretary, coach and an active member of the Carlow Cricket club, which he helped to re-establish in 2011. He is also an active member of Carlow Integration forum.
Muslims in Carlow currently have no mosque so they use hotel rooms or similar to worship/celebrate their main festivals. He helps to source a space with fundraising for the costs involved. In 2012 he instigated an art exhibition for the Rohingya refugees, giving them the opportunity to use art as healing and share their experiences (and talent) with the Carlow community. On a practical level many of the refugee community in Carlow do not have transport and he often coordinates lifts to cricket matches and has a wonderful relationship with local taxi drivers.