Monday, October 03, 2022

A 6th year student at St Colman’s College, Claremorris and a member of the OCO Youth Advisory Panel has today returned from the United Nations Children’s Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland where he accompanied Dr Niall Muldoon, the Ombudsman for Children.

Mohammad Naeem is a youth activist based in Mayo, and his voice has become increasingly prominent in Ireland in recent years. He is involved with many local, regional and national groups including the Irish Second Level Students’ Union and he was awarded Mayo’s Young Environmentalist of the Year 2021.

St Colman’s College, Claremorris student Mohammad Naeem pictured with the UN flag in Geneva.

Speaking about his experience, Mohammad said: “It was an amazing experience representing Irish Children at the United Nations Children’s Meeting along with the Ombudsman for Children Youth Advisory Panel in Geneva. After months of hard work on our report Pieces of Us, we got to voice the concerns and opinions of children across Ireland.”

Mohammad and his team spent many months on the consultation process before compiling their report and presenting it to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.

“I am absolutely delighted with how the meeting went, the committee members were so engaged with what we had to say. Throughout the experience I met some wonderful people from the UN & Irish NGOs and had some really insightful conversations about how Ireland listens to young people and what changes are needed in years to come!

“I would like to say huge thanks to everyone involved, the OCO staff who supported and guided me throughout the whole process. Also, thanks to my principal Mr Roy Hession and all my teachers who have always supported me with my activism in school,” Mohammad concluded.

Mohammad Naeem in St Colman’s College with Principal Roy Hession and Deputy Principal Maria Byrne.

Adding to this Roy Hession, Principal of St Colman’s College, said: “Mohammad is a really keen activist in a whole range of areas, both in school and at local and national level, and he is committed to encouraging others to speak up, to look for change, to seek improvement and to make the world a better place for everybody, especially those who are marginalised or without a strong voice for whatever reason.

“Mohammad finds time to keep on top of his studies and to represent his fellow students in organisations such as Comhairle na nÓg, Mayo Changemakers, Mindspace Youth, St Vincent de Paul, Green Schools among others.”

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