By giving LGBTI+ young people the opportunity to identify themselves as leaders and changemakers they can influence and shape their environment to ensure they, and other LGBTI+ young people, are visible and feel included at all levels of their community, regardless of where they live. We want them to feel like they have a voice and can use this voice to make a difference and ensure they feel safe and supported to do so. By giving young people the opportunity to develop these important skills and by creating supportive environments, they can make a real difference. This project is supported by the LGBTI+ Community Services Fund 2021.
By participating in this programme young people will be encouraged to seek ways in which they can use their skills to make a difference for themselves and others. Through collaboration and networking with other LGBTI+ young people and organisations, they will have the opportunity to work on a range of projects and issues that will address gaps (as they see them) in the LGBTI+ community. By creating this network of leaders they will be best placed to improve the quality of life for themselves and others in their community and go on to become active and respected members of society. It is envisaged that by getting involved in this project, young people will create awareness and build support for LGBTI+ issues in their school, workplace, sports teams and wider community.
By taking part in the programme, LGBTI+ young people will spend time with a group of likeminded young people in a safe and supportive environment. The programme will give young people who may be disadvantaged due to their rural location a chance to meet other young people from the LGBTI+ community. They will share experiences, build networks and work together on projects and tasks that will allow them to continue to support each other and network once the project is over.
While the programme will initially be facilitated online, there is a really exciting opportunity for the full group to attend a programme residential in Maynooth University in June. This will give the group the opportunity to meet each other in person and to continue to work on the projects and issues they started throughout the programme. The residential will also allow for the group to forge working relationships with each other and connect on topics and areas of interest. There will also be the opportunity to hear from other guest speakers and advocates from the LGBTI+ community.
This project, the skills the young people will develop, and the network they become part of will ensure that these young people will become important and respected members of their society regardless of the path they take. Leaders are needed in all areas of society. People can, and should, be leaders in social, economic, cultural and political life regardless of their sexual identity. These young people will also help support existing services and identify additional services and supports that may be needed at community level.
Deadline for receipt of applications is Wednesday 9th February at 12 noon.