Moone Boy star, David Rawle (16) from Carrigallen has teamed up with Focus Ireland to highlight the growing child homelessness crisis in Ireland and call for more action on the issue.
He appears in a new Focus Ireland video made to mark the 25th anniversary of Ireland’s ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Focus Ireland made the video to help highlight the issue and support the campaign by the Ombudsman for Children’s Office to raise awareness of “Children Now and Rights Now” over the next year as Ireland marks 25 years since signing up to the UNCRC.
In the video David outlines the rights the Irish State has committed to under the UNCRC such as:
-Every child has a place to call home.
-All children are equal and have a right to a proper education
-That children have somewhere safe to play with their friends.
Watch the hard-hitting video and see how it uses a number media reports to show how these basic rights are not being provided to the nearly 3,000 children who are homeless in Ireland. The piece also explains that families who are homeless struggle to achieve a healthy diet and that over 1,800 schoolchildren are now homeless.
David Rawle said: “I was happy to be involved with Focus Ireland on this video as it is terrible to think that so many young children and also teens my age are homeless. I hope this helps to bring more attention to the issue as no child should be homeless in Ireland today.”
Commenting on the video Focus Ireland Advocacy Manager Roughan Mac Namara said: “It is fundamentally wrong that nearly 3,000 children are homeless. There is good work being done by the State, Local authorities and NGO’s such as Focus Ireland and without this the current crisis would be much worse. However, much more needs to be done to keep people in their homes and prevent them from becoming homeless in the first place. “
He added: “We were delighted that David took part in our video as he is the same age as many of the teenagers who are homeless or at risk right across Ireland. It is very positive for them to see someone their own age leading a call for action and standing alongside them.”
Focus Ireland said that Ireland must ensure that it lives up to the rights outlined in the UNCRC now and works to quickly end the current child homelessness crisis. The charity stressed that a period of being homeless has a very harsh impact on children and young people under 18 and can damage their education, confidence and also their physical and mental health.
Focus Ireland works to support families and children who are homeless in partnership with the Dublin Region Homeless Executive and the Local Authorities and manages to provide a home for at least one family a day. However, the crisis is still deepening as more at least 80 more families become homeless every month.
The short film captures this point very powerfully as it ends with David Rawle standing in front of Government Buildings saying: “These rights are so important as they have set down international markers to help protect children & young people. But there are now nearly 3,000 children homeless in Ireland who are being denied a proper childhood.
“We want Ireland to take action so that every child has a right to be just that…. The Right To Be A Child…… We Need This Right Today……Not Tomorrow..For it is today that we are children.”
This is the second time David has supported Focus Ireland’s work as he previously took part in a campaign for the charity when he was appearing in the Moone Boy series. This previous short film featured the actor interviewing a range of famous faces including former Taoiseach Enda Kenny and rugby star Rob Kearney.