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New Children’s Publication available for Schools – ‘A Strong Heart’

'A Strong Heart' - Kids' Own Publishing Partnership

Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership 

Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership are delighted to announce the publication of “A Strong Heart – A book of stories and dreams for the future by Syrian and Palestinian children living in County Mayo”.

Over five weeks, in April and May 2018, the group of children, who live in communities in County Mayo, came together with artist Vanya Lambrecht Ward and writer Mary Branley at the Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar, to develop the body of work that was to be brought together in their book.

Initiated and developed by Kids’ Own – and supported by the St Stephen’s Green Trust, Mayo County Council and South West Mayo Development Company – the project was part of a vision to offer a space for migrant children to develop their creativity and self-expression through an artistic process, and to publish a book that would foreground and give credence to their voices, lives and experiences.

In relation to the project, Kids’ Owns Acting Director, Jo Holmwood, says:

“Kids’ Own is deeply committed to publishing and developing children’s work in Ireland. We believe that children’s contribution to our culture and our society, as artists and writers, needs to be more widely valued and recognised. Kids’ Own is delighted to publish this brand new book, which is such a rich celebration of children’s resilience, ambition and cultural identity.

Image copyright Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership – Minister Zappone presenting ‘A Strong Heart’ to Louise Arbour, UN Special Representative for International Migration.

In July, Kids’ Own were thrilled when the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone shared the stories from ‘A Strong Heart’ at her UN Security Council address on ‘Children in Armed Conflict’.

“As Minister I am particularly proud that half of the 1,883 persons accepted into Ireland under resettlement and relocation programmes are children fleeing war and conflict.

In addition Ireland is providing care for 79 children who arrived alone at our ports and airports.

All of these children, from countries experiencing conflict such as Syria, Afghanistan and Eritrea, are making Ireland their home.

They speak for themselves in a collection of stories and art created by Syrian and Palestinian children now living in Mayo in the West of Ireland.

Through the book ‘A Strong Heart’ they tell of the beauty of their new home-towns, the local rivers, mountains and even the world famous salmon.

They express their passion for Irish sport, their sense of fun and their hopes and dreams.

12-year old Khaled in Claremorris writes, “My Dream for the future is to be a footballer first and play for Ireland. When I’m thirty-three I will be a teacher and go back to Syria to teach English.” 

Khaled and his classmates, Irish, Syrian and Palestinian, are flourishing. They are our future”.

Minister Zappone also presented the publication to Louise Arbour, UN Special Representative for International Migration, following a discussion on child migrants.

For more information and to purchase the publication go to






Multi-art form

School Level