Students Highlight World Justice

29 November 2021

Year 2 BEd students Andrew Harkin, Patrick McKillen and Emer Feeney pictured with Laura Rio Fernandez of Trόcaire

at the recent workshop at St Mary's University College.

Trόcaire has teamed up with St Mary's University College to help student teachers learn about the issues facing millions of people in the world’s developing countries.

Laura Rio Fernandez, Trόcaire’s development education officer, visited St Mary’s recently to deliver a workshop to Year 2 Bachelor of Education degree (BEd) students. Laura said, “Educating people here at home around the structural causes of poverty and injustice is a crucial part of what Trócaire does and our development education work is a key way of achieving this. Trócaire and St Mary's University College have a long-standing relationship and it was fantastic to be able to deliver this workshop for the students.”

“The workshop was part of the college’s ‘World Around Us’ classes. Students learn about global justice issues facing the world today. They discuss development education, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their role as teachers to create a better and fairer world. During the session, we discussed good practices in development education and what knowledge, skills and values they would need to teach our future global citizens to make informed decisions and contribute to a just and fairer world.”

Aine Devine, one of the students who took part in the workshop commented, “As future educators and student teachers, we have a duty to ensure that our pupils grow to become contributors to society, the environment and make informed decisions throughout their life. From the Trócaire workshop and our ‘World Around Us’ lectures in college, I am now aware of the skills, knowledge and understanding that I will need to teach global justice issues in an active and child-friendly way while achieving the aims of the Northern Ireland Curriculum. Laura’s passion and enthusiasm for the Sustainable Development Goals has given me a greater understanding of the importance of allowing children to explore, discuss, evaluate and analyse how they can make a difference in the world. I have found this Trόcaire session to be extremely valuable and informative and I look forwarding to implementing all I have learnt in the classroom.”

Tracey McKay and Teresa Cash, Senior Lecturers at St Mary’s, helped to facilitate the visit.

Tracey said, “We were delighted to welcome Laura back to St Mary’s. This event was part of a really valuable partnership between St Mary’s and Trόcaire which is based on a shared ethos and commitment to social justice and a determination to work for a fairer and better world.”

“The session addressed knowledge, skills, attitudes and the values necessary for education for sustainability. It reinforced for our students the importance of active learning and critical literacy when it comes to embedding education for sustainability within the ‘World Around Us’ in the Primary Curriculum,” said Teresa.

To find out more about Trόcaire’s work visit

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