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My time in the OCO is not what you would expect…

2 March 2021

by K

My time in the Ombudsman for children is not what you would expect. Because of COVID 19, we weren’t able to go into the office, so instead, we went into a zoom call. On the first day, we were introduced to Geraldine, Aoife, and Cat. After that, we introduced ourselves, and then we learned about children’s rights and what the OCO does. What I really liked about the speakers was the way they acted towards each other, in somewhat of an informal way. They acted like a family which made the working environment feel like home in a sense.

On the second day, we were introduced to Niall Muldoon, who became our Ombudsman for Children in 2015. He talked about what he does as the Ombudsman and he gave us his life story. He talked about when he was around the age of 22. He wanted to go to college to study psychology, but the courses in Ireland required a second language so he had to study abroad in the United Kingdom for his psychology degree. He studied different types of therapy which were insightful. I also learned that drawing and other forms of therapy can help people describe how they’re feeling. We listened to other speakers which helped teach us how everything tied together.

The overall experience was really good! I learned a lot about how the office worked and learned more about children's rights and the problems many children still face today. It taught me about many of the injustices and the faults in the system which I think needs more exposure. I had no problems with the way they ran things, which is kind of unfortunate because I know they appreciate all the constructive criticisms and input from us, teenagers and children! I would highly recommend this to anyone interested in the OCO or children’s rights!