I first got involved in Forόige back in 2007 at the age of 16. The Templeport Forόige Club in Co.Cavan was being set up and I was elected as its Public Relations Officer. That year we entered the Citizenship programme. That’s when I truly discovered a passion for Forόige. I really saw their famous slogan ‘Empowering youth, enriching communities’ come to life. We were a group of young, determined and enthusiastic people who were going to make a difference in our community. After reaching the finals and winning one of the 20 prizes, my passion was ignited! But sadly the following year when Forόige was starting back up after the summer the members my age had dropped out. Sadly I followed suit and left Foróige. Once I reached 18, I was thrilled when asked to become a volunteer leader in the Foróige Club.
Foróige has benefited me greatly as a person; it gave me many opportunities, such as attending the Albert Schweitzer Leadership for Life conference, (which was AMAZING), learning and developing leadership and social skills as well as having the craic along the way. All of these have given me a great foundation for my future career as a second level teacher, for that I am sincerely appreciative.
I’m currently studying to become a Home Economics and Religion second level Teacher, in St. Angela’s College, only out the road in Sligo. One day while I was panned out in the Student’s Union Couch, I heard in a Cavan accent ‘I recognise the Foróige head on that lad’, I looked up to find none other than Breda Maguire staring at me with eagerness and excitement. Well needless to say with a ‘gentle’ push from her; she had me roped into setting up a Foróige Alumni society in St. Angela’s college but in saying that I’m so grateful to her. I have rediscovered my passion for volunteering. Also Breda had arranged for me to meet with another girl in the college, Grace Farrell, the current Chairperson, who is just as passionate about Foróige as me. This got me thinking about what a great opportunity this Foróige Alumni Society has for creating new friendships and a much friendlier atmosphere around the campus. Also for incoming 1st year students we plan to make Foróige a great way for them to settle in to college life, meet new people and become aware of volunteering opportunities.
One of the main reasons that people have shown an interest in the Society is because there are no other societies in St. Angela’s that offer volunteering opportunities, a chance to develop and grow as a person, as well as having some craic along the way. These traits of Foróige are the main reason why I can see the Foróige Alumni Society being such a success not only in St Angela’s but in all the other colleges, universities and institutions of further study nationwide.
The society has grasped the attention of the student of St. Angela’s with over 25 members already signed up and a lot more to come from what I hear. I am currently the Public Relations Officer of the Alumni society. We have many plans and ideas but we are slightly hindered by the fact that the majority of the student body are out on placement for the last 6 weeks. We are currently planning the first official night out of the Foróige alumni society, but along with the many ideas for having the craic, there have been a lot of positive, selfless and inspiring ideas for the society to work on.
• Cake sale
• Fundraising games and events to support Foróige
• Making funky and cool bibs for people with special needs. This is one of the ideas the society will be placing a great deal of emphasis on. It was brought to our attention through the college e-mails. It was brought to our attention that people with special needs who require bibs for eating, find it very difficult to find bibs. Any bibs that fit usually have a childish/babyish design so we will use the many talented sewers in Angela’s to produce some cool and funky ones.
I hope that the development of the Foróige Alumni Society will open a lot more people’s eyes to the great work that Foróige does for the person, community and collectively for the country. I will be encouraging people who have never heard or taken part in Foróige to return to their home towns and villages and look into setting up Foróige clubs there, or even the possibility of volunteering within the community.
With only 6 weeks left in the academic year, we have a lot to do, but the other committee members, members and I are really looking forward to getting stuck in and getting the society up and running, so we can have a really successful year in 2013/2014. Not to mention that we are all looking forward to the prospect of a nationwide event for all the Foróige alumni societies from all over the country. One last final thing, if you know any enthusiastic past or present members or leaders in college please tell them about the Alumni Society.