Our vision is an Ireland that believes in every young person. That includes you!
At this time of year, many Clubs and Projects are seeking to bring in new volunteer Leaders. As you know, leaders are the key to good developmental and enjoyable experiences for young people in our Clubs. About 1,000 new volunteer Leaders join Foróige each year, mainly recruited by existing Leaders. Most people who get involved in Clubs do so because another Leader has asked them. We say "Yes" to people we trust more easily than to strangers. Here is some advice on how to find more Leaders. It's not always easy - but this is what experts recommend.
Read our interview with Gerry McDonald, Foróige's Head of Training. Gerry has worked with young people in Foróige for over 30 years. Gerry will retire later on this year and has carried out exceptional youth work throughout his career. He has championed youth participation and non-formal education. In this interview, Gerry shares anecdotes, advice to young people, to youth workers and volunteers. It is an inspiring piece and everyone can take something from it.
REAL U is a comprehensive relationships and sexual health programme designed to delay the onset of early sexual activity and reduce teen pregnancy. Funding for the roll out of the programme nationally came from the HSE Crisis Pregnancy Programme. This innovative new sex education programme delivered to more than 10,500 teenagers nationwide is ‘filling a gap’ in relationship and sexuality education for young people in Ireland, a new study has shown. The 12-month research into youth organisation Foróige’s Relationships Explored and Life Uncovered (REAL U) programme also found that young people’s attitudes to LGBT issues and knowledge about the facts of sex improved significantly as a result of taking part in the 12-week programme.
Foróige’s Dr. Susan Redmond says, “Young people are living in an increasingly sexualised world and teenagers need the tools to navigate through this world effectively.
Foróige volunteer Karl Brown travelled to Switzerland recently to take part in a training course designed to strengthen the links between NGOs across Europe working in the area of youth leadership. The ‘ReACTion 2014 – from Passion 2 Action’ conference was organised by AISEC in Switzerland. AISEC is the world’s largest youth-led organisation which has been facilitating youth leadership activities and volunteer experiences across 124 countries and territories.
Karl was the one of just 36 participants and three trainers from seven youth NGOs. The other delegates were from Switzerland, Spain, Slovenia, Macedonia, Poland and Italy. Karl tells us about his experience.
Foróige is now operating clubs for young people with autism spectrum conditions in a number of counties. Claire Hutchinson, Foróige Regional Youth Officer for South Dublin says, “We have worked closely in conjunction with Aspire Ireland, the Asperger’s Association of Ireland and they have been exceptionally helpful and supportive in establishing these clubs.”
Big Brother Big Sister is an internationally recognised youth mentoring programme that forms supportive friendships for young people inspiring them to brighter futures. The programme is operated by Foróige in Ireland. We match an adult with a young person who could benefit from having a supportive adult in their lives. Male & female volunteers are currently being sought in the following areas: Mayo, Roscommon (Castlerea/Ballaghaderreen), Cork, Cavan, Monaghan, Dublin (Finglas and Balbriggan). Male volunteers are sought in Galway, Tipperary, Sligo, North Donegal, Westmeath and Offaly. Please complete our Volunteer Enquiry Form if you feel this is something you would be interested in doing!
In May 2014, 32 young people from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland took part in a 7 day youth exchange on a tall ship, the Morgenster. Two Foróige members were lucky enough to take part in the sail, Kirsty Hayes and Cormac Whelan. Kirsty (16) from Co. Cork has composed an article about her experience.
A week living on a tall ship alongside 31 strangers is bound to present its challenges, but late night watches and close living quarters made strangers into one big family. The adventure began for the Republic of Ireland participants in the Dublin Port Centre at 12:00 on Sunday 25th of May. From here we piled our mountain of “unnecessary” luggage into a small overheated bus and began a 3 hour bus journey to Belfast.
On Friday 8th of August, the Le Chéile Rose took place in the Village Inn, Enniskeane in Co. Cork. Organised by Ballineen Foróige Club, this charity event in aid of the Irish Kidney Association saw seven enthusiastic and inspirational ladies take to the stage, each representing a local business or organisation. As part of their annual citizenship project, Ballineen Foróige Club decided to revive this event which first took place in 1995 and has not been held for 14 years.
The event was based on the Rose of Tralee Festival. Each Rose was interviewed on stage and then asked to perform a showpiece.
You just had to be there.
Within a couple of minutes of arriving at NUI Maynooth for the Albert Schweitzer Leadership For Life Conference 2014 one of my ‘moments of the week’ occurred. It was about 10am and I had just arrived at the front of the Iontas building on campus where registration was taking place. With me were 6 members from our Foróige Club in Drogheda, Mell FYC. I had literally just put my bags down when I heard a high pitched “Oh My God” followed by an excited scream, “Eamo”, and before I even got a chance to turn around, I felt a body slam into me from behind, a pair of arms wrapped around me, squeezing the life out of me.
Over the past three years, I have been honoured and had the extreme privilege of attending one of the best youth leadership conferences in the world, the Albert Schweitzer Leadership for Life Conference. This year was my 3rd and final year as I completed the Advanced Module at the 6th Annual ASLFL Conference which ran in Maynooth, Ireland from Monday 28th July to Friday 1st August.
This year saw 250 young, inspirational leaders from across 4 countries (including Ireland, Northern Ireland, U.S.A. and India) gather for one of the best weeks of their lives.