Peadar Ó Lamhna – Representing Gaisce on the International Stage

Recently elected as an Emerging Leader Representative on the International Council, Peadar Ó Lamhna travelled to Seoul to the International Gold Event (IGE) 2014. Peadar was certainly kept busy over the course of his trip. Aside from working in groups and analysing the International Award’s impact, he got the chance to take in Korean culture – as well as share some Irish culture amongst his peers – and concluded with the elections for the Emerging Leader Representative.

The IGE takes place every 3 years consisting of Gold award holders the world over. Over 70 delegates took part and over 40 countries were represented. Ireland were represented by Peadar & Nicole Johnston. The delegates were split into multinational groups and visited 2 locations in Korea, with the goal of seeing how the International Award’s impact measures could help further the award in the delegate’s own countries. Ireland, UK, Luxembourg, The Bahamas, Trinidad & Tobago, Australia, South Korea, and South Africa were all represented in Peadar’s group.

The group were assigned the topic of Educational Attainment, and visited the Chungnam Research Centre & the Ghandi School to take a look at alternative education. The schools aim to teach life skills such as budgeting, cooking, carpentry, etc. rather than traditional subjects. In this way, the International Award could be introduced as a way of promoting non-formal education. While visiting the Ghandi School, the team got the chance to make traditional Korean rice cakes! The findings of the field visits were presented to the International Council, which is chaired by HRH Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex.

The closing ceremony and Gala dinner took place in Seoul on Friday the 31st. Here, every participant was presented with their certificate of participation by HRH.

Different events were organised for the participants every evening, in order to get a taste of Korean culture. Korean drumming, Tekken, and a workshop in various Korean percussion instruments were shown to the participants. Not only were they shown these incredible skills, they then had to perform them front of the entire group!

Culture Night involved showcasing the various cultures of the delegates. They saw traditional African dance, a Sri Lankan martial arts display, and more. For their showcase of Irish culture, they tried to teach the rest of the delegates to Ceilí dance, to some success! (The video can be found here, on the Gaisce Alumni\’s Facebook page)

As part of the IGE, 8 delegates are elected, 2 per region, to sit on International Council for a 3 year period. After hustings and an election Peadar was elected by the European delegates to sit on the Council for the next term as an Emerging Leader. Other delegates selected come from Malta, Australia, South Korea, Canada, The Bahamas, Mauritius, and Zambia. Emerging Leader reps will attend IC meetings each year, the next one is being held at Forum in Toronto. The IC is chaired by Prince Edward and is the governing authority for the Award internationally. More details about the role are available here.

We would like to wish Peadar every success in his role as an Emerging Leader Representative!

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