Hello everybody! Our names are Adrienne Walsh (I’m a member of Fayz Foróige Club Kiltimagh Co. Mayo) and Jane Doyle (I’m a member of Scarriff Foróige Club, Co. Clare). In January this year we were both elected to Foróige’s Reference Panel along with 50 other young people from across Ireland. Our aim is to bring forward ideas from our various regions for group discussion and make recommendations to the National Council of Foróige on issues that affect young people.
In February we had our first conference, which took place over a whole weekend. The theme of our conference was “Developing Positive Peer Pressure and Social Environments”.
These topics were chosen because at our Regional Conferences in January where over 800 young people met to discuss issues that affected them, their friends and their communities, we found that bullying and peer pressure were the two issues that arose most frequently.
However we did not want to completely focus on bullying and dwell on the negative side of peer pressure, so we decided to look at peer pressure in a different light and put the centre of attention on promoting positive peer pressure and how to develop positive social environments!The Reference Panel were then split up into smaller groups to develop our ideas and create solutions to the issues, we showcased our feedback in many ways; such as through short drama pieces, dancing, illustrations and also just by speaking.
Finally on the Sunday, all members got into their county groups and developed an Advocacy Action Plan for their local area. Over all it was a brilliant, productive and enjoyable weekend had by everyone and we are all looking forward to coming back for our second conference in October!
Please read our report here. We hope it will help you look a peer pressure differently and see how creating positive peer pressure and positive social environments can help young people to grow to their full potential.
Foróige’s Charter of Rights can be found here.