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  • Northside East

Charity founder speaks at world youth event in Russia

Thursday, 26th October, 2017 1:00pm
Charity founder speaks at world youth event in Russia

Debbie Deegan (far right) pictured at the event in Russia.

Charity founder speaks at world youth event in Russia

Debbie Deegan (far right) pictured at the event in Russia.

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THE boss of a Northside-based charity travelled to Russia last week to speak at a world event.  

Debbie Deegan, founder of ‘To Russia With Love’, spoke at the 19th World Festival of Youth and Students (WFYS) in Sochi. 

Ms Deegan, the only Irish participant selected, delivered a talk on the subject, ‘There is no success, without kindness’.

“I absolutely agree with the statement,” said the Clontarf native, who was joined by a host of distinguished speakers at the event. 

“Relentless kindness among other skills is key to our success. 

“To have been chosen to talk on the subject is a testament to the work of our charity and the Irish and Russian people who have supported our work there for 19 years.”

Ms Deegan was on stage with four translators, using four languages simulataneously, spreading the message and benefits of kindness. 

She said it was an honour to speak at the event. 

Having founded ‘To Russia With Love’ in 1998, Ms Deegan’s charity has gone on to transform the lives of thousands of abandoned and orphaned Russian children, with the help of many local administrations. 

Of the 5,264 children supported over 20 years by Irish people, 77 per cent have integrated successfully into society.

In 2016, ‘To Russia With Love’ decided to expand its programmes to Ireland where it now also works, building brighter futures for Irish students affected by social divide and educational inequality.  

The goal of the programmes is to support young people to achieve their full potential in education, employment and life.

The WFYS was created to bridge deep-rooted ideological differences among the different countries of the world, and it continues to unite students and young generations from across the globe. 

It was the largest mass gathering of people, outside of a sporting event, to take place in 2017.  

Young people from around the world united to develop a vision for the planet’s future and spent a week shaping the main trends in global development for 2030. 

The event dealt with key issues of our times, including environment, accessible energy, poverty, science, the information boom and accessible education.

Debbie Deegan, founder of To Russia With Love.

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