May of 2017 we piloted a Participatory Budgeting project at the Learning Hub. Participatory Budgeting is a democratic process where the community have a say in how money is spent. Children in 5th and 6th class from Thomond Primary School in Ballynanty and Corpus Christi in Moyross took part in the process and were allowed to cast there vote to decide how a €2,000 portion of the Learning Hub’s budget was spent.
The voters had three options to choose from:
- 10 year Anniversary Festival at the Hub
- Set up a Gaming/Movie Hub
- Mystery Trip
Children registered to vote in their schools. On the morning of the vote we arrived with our Voting Booth and the children filled out ballot cards and cast their vote. The votes were then counted at the Learning Hub under the watchful eyes of our independent observers from PAUL Partnership and with a majority vote of 56.04% the children decided to spend the money on setting up a Gaming/Movie Hub.
The project was a great experience for all involved as it allowed the childrens voice to be heard while also teaching them about the process of democracy!