Barnacarroll teens shine with inspirational organ donor project

An impressive group of teens from Barnacarroll have won national recognition for their campaign to encourage their friends and classmates to carry organ donor cards in the hopes they would then be more likely to sign-up as donors in adulthood.

Barnacarroll Foroige Club travelled to Dublin Castle recently for the Foroige Youth Citizenship Awards after their project on Cystic Fibrosis and the importance of organ donation was one of just eight shortlisted from hundreds of entries to the awards programme nationwide.

The club members were inspired to launch their project after learning that Mayo has the highest rate of Cystic Fibrosis per capita in Ireland.

“We wanted to increase awareness about Cystic Fibrosis as so many people in our community have been affected by the disease in some way,” explained Saoirse Brady from Barnacarroll Foróige Club.

“Our project expanded to increase awareness about the importance of organ donation. We designed our own organ donation card for local schoolchildren. While they may not be old enough to carry the official card, we thought that if they got used to carrying our card, they would sign up to be organ donors as adults.”

They club developed a hard-hitting information campaign about Cystic Fibrosis and the importance of organ donation in their area.

They also raised €3,500 to help fund the building of a dedicated cystic fibrosis unit at Mayo General Hospital.

The club were tasked to develop a motto for their campaign and they came up with the inspiring words - “The measure of my life is not what I accumulate but what I give away”.

“If our project encourages one person to sign up to be an organ donor, then all of our hard work has been worth it,” added Ms Brady.

More than 12,000 young people nationwide took part in this year’s Foroige Youth Citizenship Programme.

The programme encourages young people to become active citizens and to bring about the changes they would like to see in their own communities.

“This project is a deserving finalist at the Foróige Youth Citizenship Awards,” said Seán Campbell, CEO of Foroige, at the awards in Dublin Castle. “The group took an issue of major social importance and created a simple yet effective and engaging project that has benefitted their community greatly. It is truly inspiring to watch teenagers strive to make their communities and their world a better place to live.”


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