Our vision is an Ireland that believes in every young person. That includes you!
Congratulations to all of our finalists who have carried out transformative, important work in their communities. They are an inspiration to everyone.
Announcing the finalists, Foróige's Head of Training Gerry McDonald said the standard of entries was extremely high this year and there was great variety in the projects.
"It is heartening to see that the Foróige Citizenship Programme is alive and well and living in communities all across Ireland. The standard of projects was extremely high this year and the team of judges found it extremely difficult to settle on the 8 finalists. A big well done to everybody who participated in the programme and entered the awards this year."
I am very passionate about Foróige’s Youth Citizenship Programme. As a young man, I was lucky enough to be a member of a Foróige Club in Tooreen, County Mayo. We had great leaders who always promoted and encouraged us to get involved in community projects. My involvement in these projects gave me a great insight into my community and the people who live there. Very quickly it opened my eyes to the fact that the reason I had a great community to live in was all down to the local people who gave so unselfishly of their time to make our community a better place. I learned there and then that ordinary people could and do make an extraordinary difference.
At the start of 2014, Foróige entered into a partnership with McAfee Intel Security to pilot a training programme they had developed which would meet the needs of young people in relation to managing their presence online, particularly in relation to social media.
It is often assumed that young people have the requisite skills when it comes to managing their interactions and presence on the internet and all the accompanying platforms for interaction. During the pilot phase of this work with McAfee, we discovered that it is imperative that a base skills level for all young people be established.
The following Opinion piece recently featured in Cork Independent and was written By Foróige staff member Brenda Keating. Brenda is a Project Officer for Foróige’s Big Brother Big Sister programme in Cork.
"I’m going to college – something I thought I’d never do – all because of my ‘Big Sister’. She’s changed my life."
Can an hour or two a week really change someone’s life? Maybe it’s all about the little things.
Your Club can now start updating and adding information to the online affiliation system. In fact, two Clubs have already done this and have hit the affiliation button, they are Tourmakeady Foróige Club in Mayo and Cathedral Cairde Foróige Club in Cork. Well done to both of them for being on the ball! If you are no longer a Club Leader, please ask the Club to indicate on the system who the new Club Leader is. If your Club may not be reopening, please contact a Foróige Regional Youth Officer/Staff Person for help. Access the Club Management System here.
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 and words of wisdom for young people, volunteers and youth workers. 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.”