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DkIT student app announced as the SPARK National Social Enterprise Awards Runner Up 2018

13 February 2019

DkIT is delighted to announce that BB Business and Management graduates Gareth Lau, Dayna Branigan and Jade Kenny have been announced as runners up in the SPARK National Social Enterprise Awards 2018.

The annual competition showcases the very best social enterprises developed by students from higher education institutes across Ireland and gave DkIT students Gareth, Dayna and Jane the opportunity to submit an application based on their app ‘Túsa Nua’. The awards application saw the students being awarded overall winners of the regional SPARKS award, followed by receiving the accolade for runners up at the SPARK National Social Enterprise Awards.

Based on a personal passion of the students the app, ‘Túsa Nua’, was developed as part of a class project for their BB Business and Management (Level 7) degree and seeks to aid asylum seekers with integration into Irish society offering services, such as support and information on local services e.g. English classes, a translation function and a chat platform giving users a direct link to volunteers who provide further assistance.

On why the app is important for those seeking asylum Jade commented, 

“I think the main thing was to make their daily life as normal as possible because through the research that we carried out, asylum seekers suffer a lot with depression and mental health issues because they are living in the one area all the time, for anything up to 10 years.”

Discussing the support provided by DkIT Social Care lecturer Dr. Colletta Dalikeni in the early development phase of the project, Gareth added,

“With Colletta we found the real problems. She has so much research in refugees and asylum seekers, so to be able to meet with her was just great.”

Angela Hamouda, lecturer in Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Innovation at DkIT, was the initial drive behind Gareth, Dayna and Jane’s application, encouraging the students to apply for the Spark awards, knowing that the high standard of their application would assure them recognition by the judges.

"Tackling social issues and challenges requires an innovate approach from communities. This is an excellent example of how integrating business methods for social purposes can bring about positive change in communities. By equipping our students with the professional skills and knowledge to develop sustainable social enterprises, we are helping to create change agents who can have impact on communities to develop more innovate solutions to key social issues."

For further information about the app ‘Túsa Nua’ or the Spark National Social Enterprise Awards, contact

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