The Young Ambassadors, a group created by members of the Youth Arts Programme, Noise Dublin and the music education hub Music Generation South Dublin, composed and performed a new rap and vocal track for the fourth Child Talks event in Ireland.
Child Talks was developed by the Ombudsman for Children’s Office (OCO), to provide a platform for Irish children and young people to discuss issues that affect their lives. In 2021, young speakers focussed, perhaps unsurprisingly, on how the pandemic has affected their mental health, but also a range of subjects such as scoliosis, climate change, Direct Provision and gender equality.
The Young Ambassadors’ track was composed around the event’s theme, ‘My Hopes For the Future’, and was performed by young South Dubliners from the NOISE Music programme. For some of them, it was their first time performing in front of an audience.
First-time NOISE performer, Lydia said, ‘It was my first performance and my first performance of writing songs, writing lyrics and singing on stage. My God, I was really nervous beforehand but after going out there with all my friends and all my mentors, I got really comfortable and after getting into music I definitely think I’ll carry on in the future.’
Noise Music is a programme developed with Lorraine Maher of I Am Irish and is delivered by a unique team of musicians and DJs at the forefront of the Irish hip-hop and electronic music scene along with youth music facilitators and youth workers. The programme connects young people between 13-25-years-of-age, from some of the most disadvantaged areas of Dublin, to professional artists, musicians and DJs, introducing them to singing, DJing, rapping and making beats across genres such as hip-hop, techno and house. Its offering ranges from one-off events to arts career mentoring.
It is funded by Music Generation’s South Dublin (MGSD) branch in partnership with the South Dublin County Arts Office initiative, CONTACT Studio. Music Generation is Ireland’s national music education programme, co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and local music education partnerships. MGSD is also funded by South Dublin County Council and the Dublin/Dun Laoghaire ETB.
Child Talks 2021 was a hybrid, in-person and digital event on 19 November 2021 to tie in with World Children’s Day. The Ombudsman for Children’s Office is a human rights institution established to protect the rights of children in Ireland, investigate complaints about services provided to children by public organisations and give children and young people a voice.
Dr Niall Muldoon, the Ombudsman for Children, said of the event, ‘Children have been through so much since March 2020. They have missed out, fallen behind and taken the blame. The theme of this year’s Child Talks is ‘My Hopes for the Future’ and it is inspiring to hear how our young people are dealing with challenges and looking forward.’