Getting their act together for charity

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FOR THE COMMUNITY: Youth volunteer to help those with intellectual disabilities

YOUTH of our generation are commonly perceived as selfish. Some say that giving back to the community is only possible when you are a working adult with a steady income. This is a misconception as there are many other ways of helping those in need.

A group of youth from Clare County in Ireland staged a recent charity concert at The Millennium Theatre in Limerick Institute of Technology.  This event was initiated by Kesiah Maglaque, 17, with the help of her family and friends.
Concert tickets were priced at 10 each and the hall can house 350 people. All the proceeds of the concert were donated to Home Share Clare: Brothers of Charity.

Home Share Clare brings people with intellectual disabilities together with families interested in sharing their homes. The families get training, guidance and an allowance from Home Share Clare.

Maglaque’s family is a home sharer. The family members have welcomed Ciara, a 5-year-old girl who has an intellectual disability, into their home. For the past three years, Ciara has stayed at their house over the weekends, providing a break for her parents. “We want to help this charity as it has always been a big part of our lives,” said Maglaque.

Her family arranged for many performers from across Clare County to appear in the concert, including this writer. Kesiah was the main act as she is tremendously talented in singing. She sang several cover songs such as Stand Up For Love and One Night Only. As her family is musically inclined, she also sang Officially Missing You with her sister Jarred.

Some rappers added spice to the show. I decided to play a piano instrumental of the theme song from The Pirates of The Caribbean to add variety as there were many singers featured in the concert,
Three dance groups, which specialised in different areas, also got the audience grooving in their seats. Sparks specialised in hip hop and one of its dancers did a dance interpretation of the song, Reflection, from Mulan, which was sung by Kesiah.

A group of talented Irish step dancers provided the traditional alternative. Their legs were so synchronised that everyone was awestruck.

Then there was the Limrockers, which performed a fusion of dances. It was a 12-minute non-stop dance routine which included hip hop, ballet, contemporary, ballroom dancing and break-dancing. It was extremely entertaining as there were so many fresh dance moves along with challenging lifts. A boy of 8 took centre stage and began break-dancing!

Maglaque said: “The concert was indeed a success. I thought that no one would show up but there was a full house! It caught us by surprise as it was unexpected. We received great feedback from the audience and many donated more than the ticket price. We also got several sponsors for the concert.”

It was inspiring to see so many youth volunteer their time and effort in planning the concert. Being a teenager is so much more than fun and games, you can change misapprehensions of one by being different.
So what have you done for your community?

The writer is studying at a high school in Ireland. She loves to try all things but is a Malaysian at heart

Rappers Trent Maglaque (left) and Guidance Wayahtech

1. The writer (left) and Kesiah Maglaque backstage


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