Young people in the Foróige PAN Youth Project in Drogheda have been fortunate to have been involved in no less than three Foróige programmes over the past 9 months, they are personal development and life skills, and Foróige’s Leadership and Entrepreneurship programmes. A key aim has been to promote community involvement and awareness while building greater self-esteem among participants. The young people are all students at St. Oliver’s Community College.
The Foróige PAN Project is funded by the International Fund for Ireland, is administered by Foróige and works with young people between the ages of 12–18 in both the school and community setting in Drogheda. The project is funded as part of the International Fund for Ireland’s Peace Impact Programme, which aims to build sustainable peace and prosperity in areas suffering from high levels of economic and social deprivation.
As part of their youth entrepreneurship programme, students were mentored by business people including Collette Farrell (Calipo), Lorraine Murphy (Lorraine Murphy Coaching), Frank Kelly (Intervac Ireland), Kenneth Rooney (AIB) and Nicola Reynolds (Drogheda Chamber).
The students were also introduced to three local charities: the Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland, the Louth Community Drug and Alcohol Team and the Drogheda and District Support 4 Older People. This was a very valuable experience for the students, most of whom were not aware of the issues faced by those supported by the charities. Half of the profits generated from the student enterprises was donated to these groups.
Bronagh Conlon, Foróige staff member says, “We’ve seen first-hand how much the students have gained from the initiative in terms of increased confidence, patience and teamwork skills. The project has helped has helped equip them with the skills needed to communicate more effectively and to make better life choices while promoting community awareness and engagement. I truly believe that their communities will benefit from their involvement with the PAN Project.”
The young people comment on their experiences of the Youth Entrepreneurship programme in this short video.