Roots of Empathy launched programmes in Northern Ireland in 2010-2011, as a result of an invitation from the Public Health Agency to Roots of Empathy Founder/President, Mary Gordon, to deliver a keynote address.
Since then, over 20,500 children have benefited from the programme.
In 2016, a cluster randomized longitudinal study of Roots of Empathy programs , was completed by Queen’s University Belfast. The key findings show that Roots of Empathy increases pro-social behaviours and decreases difficult behaviours, including aggression.
- “These findings are consistent with those of other evaluations of ROE and suggest that it is an effective and cost-effective programme that can be delivered appropriately and effectively in regions such as Northern Ireland.”
- “The study also found that ROE as likely to be a cost-effective use of society’s resources as a means of improving children’s quality of life.”
What teachers, pupils and volunteer parents in Northern Ireland say
“The children are much more tolerant, gentle and patient. They consider themselves role models for the baby and what if the baby knew they did x, y and z!! They are thinking about their actions and how they impact others - if only the rest of the world did the same, it would be a wonderful place to grow up in!”Primary 2 teacherKinawley
“What can Roots of Empathy teach the world? “Everybody can feel the same feelings no matter what different background you are from.”Primary 5 pupilHolywood
“Roots of Empathy gave the children a safe space to speak out and ask questions in a group situation, and so they grew in confidence. The children valued the monthly visits and over the year, they got to know each other! During the last visit, my baby was crawling up to the children and sitting on their knee -they loved the trust he had developed with them and they felt special”Primary 3 volunteer parentSt. Ronan's Recarson Primary School, Omagh
“Roots of Empathy has had such a positive impact on my children and parents, and it turn, community. During parent teacher interviews, parents have commented that RoE has been so beneficial in the attitude the pupils of my class have towards their younger siblings at home. They have noted a decrease in temper tantrums when things do not go their way at home too.”Primary 6/7 teacherRathcoole Primary School, Belfast
“Pupils more aware of their thoughts and feelings and consequently more emotionally developed / ready for learning. Have a higher level of emotional intelligence and therefore more responsible for their actions, thoughts and feelings.”Primary 3 teacherSt. Ronan's Recarson Primary School, Omagh
“What can Roots of Empathy teach the world? That everyone is different but should be treated the same and we should love and care for each other and live in peace.”Primary 5 pupilGlenavy