Young 'dragons' impress Hewson with charity stalls
A school project designed to create charitable entrepreneurs should be rolled out nationwide, according to Ali Hewson.
Ms Hewson, who runs ethical clothing label Edun with her husband Bono, said she was "overwhelmed" by the small firms set up by fifth-class pupils at Notre Dame Junior School in Dundrum, south Dublin.
All the small companies are making money for charities.
The businesswoman, who attended on behalf of the Chernobyl Children's Project, said the mini-fundraising stalls had a double benefit for the 11-year-olds -- it teaches vital entrepreneurial skills and emphasises the role trade can play in lifting people out of poverty.
"I'm just so overwhelmed by their enthusiasm, their generosity and the fact that they, even nowadays when children are so caught up in themselves, still want to do this and I think it has a lot to do with the way they are educated," Ms Hewson said.
She visited the stalls selling items including jewellery, cakes, ice-creams and a 'lucky dip'.
Joanna Doyle (11), from Dundrum, and Aoife Funge (11), from Rathfarnham, said they were raising money for a variety of charities including Special Olympics and the Children's Sunshine Home in Leopardstown with their stall Amazing Accessories.
Both admitted they were fans of 'Dragons' Den' and their planning would impress the judges on that show.
They had stocked up on more beads to create bracelets and necklaces this year after pupils in the school snapped up their biggest sellers last year.
Over the past 15 years, the Children Helping Children Project has raised €237,000 for various charities.
Principal Ken King said the children had learnt a lot about the world of business from the project by creating detailed plans and having to seek sponsorship from various businesses in person or over the phone.
"It is something I would love to see my own children being involved in," Ms Hewson said.
"It is the kind of initiative that would be important for any school. I know that Mr King is the one who started it and it should be rolled out to every school."