The 7th Annual Albert Schweitzer Leadership for Life Conference came to an end last weekend and left a deep impression on all attendees. We were joined by 295 young people aged 15 to 18 from Ireland, India, Palestine, USA, Northern Ireland, Saudi Arabia and Denmark.
There was a distinctive theme around human rights and peace-building. We were delighted to welcome Emily Logan, Noeline Blackwell and Ian White as speakers, all of whom are distinguished and respected individuals. Each speaker received a standing ovation and multiple questions from young people.
Foróige in partnership with the GAA, NUIG and the Dermot Earley family have recently opened the application process for the 2015-2016 Dermot Earley Youth Leadership Initiative. The Dermot Earley Youth Leadership Initiative (DEYLI) is named after the late Dermot Earley, one of Ireland’s most inspirational leaders and esteemed GAA inter-county player.
[As part of the 'Smart People, Smart Economy' youth conference, the US Embassy, in partnership with Foróige, sponsored an intensive three-day module for young leaders from Ireland, Northern Ireland and Great Britain. The SMART Youth Conference took place at the US Embassy from the 6th to the 8th November 2014. It began with the hosting of a lecture with Gay Byrne on the 6th November in the US Ambassador’s Residence. The overall aim of the module was to focus on youth leadership and the skills required to be successful in a 21st century workplace.]
The World Forum for Democracy took place in Strasbourg from the 3rd to the 5th November and two Foróige members, Lauren Lehane and Aisling O’Callaghan were in attendance. They are both active in Foróige’s youth participation initiatives and input regularly into the running of the organisation. They have also graduated from our Leadership programme.
You just had to be there.
Within a couple of minutes of arriving at NUI Maynooth for the Albert Schweitzer Leadership For Life Conference 2014 one of my ‘moments of the week’ occurred. It was about 10am and I had just arrived at the front of the Iontas building on campus where registration was taking place. With me were 6 members from our Foróige Club in Drogheda, Mell FYC. I had literally just put my bags down when I heard a high pitched “Oh My God” followed by an excited scream, “Eamo”, and before I even got a chance to turn around, I felt a body slam into me from behind, a pair of arms wrapped around me, squeezing the life out of me.
Over the past three years, I have been honoured and had the extreme privilege of attending one of the best youth leadership conferences in the world, the Albert Schweitzer Leadership for Life Conference. This year was my 3rd and final year as I completed the Advanced Module at the 6th Annual ASLFL Conference which ran in Maynooth, Ireland from Monday 28th July to Friday 1st August.
This year saw 250 young, inspirational leaders from across 4 countries (including Ireland, Northern Ireland, U.S.A. and India) gather for one of the best weeks of their lives.