The Aldi Foróige Youth Citizenship Awards took place in Citywest Hotel & Conference Centre on Saturday (April 29th, 2017) where over 2300 young people from throughout Ireland showcased their work in the community.
Ballaghaderreen Foróige Club from Roscommon took the top prize at the Awards for their project welcoming Syrian teenagers to their area.
On discovering that seven of the eighty Syrian refugees resettled in Ballaghaderreen are teenagers, this group decided to welcome their peers to the town and undertook a series of welcome actions for their new neighbours. They first made a welcome poster and a welcome folder with individual messages which they had translated into Arabic. They then extended an invitation to the young Syrians to a social evening for which they made baked goods, taught each other how to pronounce one another’s names, did clay modelling and played pool. Lastly they presented their new friends with welcome packs of handmade friendship bracelets, woolly hats and chocolate bars.
Ballaghaderreen Foróige Club was competing against 203 other projects on topics such as equality; homelessness; mental health; culture and much more.
Sean Campbell, CEO of Foróige said “with the support of Aldi the Youth Citizenship Programme has gone from strength to strength. This programme empowers young people to make positive change in the world through examining their local community, coming up with a way to make it a better place and then working hard to make it happen.
“We are so proud of everything these young people have achieved in their communities and it’s wonderful to see all the skills they’ve gathered in the process. From planting a flowerbed, to renovating a community kitchen, to building a recording studio and making a memorial from a WWII aeroplane; these young people have gained essential life skills whilst making the world a better place.
Finbar McCarthy, Group Buying Director with Aldi Ireland said “Aldi is proud to support the Youth Citizenship Awards for the third year running. Through our links with Foróige we have seen first-hand the passion and dedication of the young people, clubs and adult volunteers involved in bringing active citizenship to the fore in local communities.
“We at Aldi are also passionate about championing and supporting local communities. In each of the communities served by our 129 stores we strive to be responsible and to go above and beyond in our relationships with local residents, suppliers, fellow businesses, as well as charity and not-for-profit organisations. Through our community support programme, we are proud to help a diverse range of national and local initiatives thrive, benefitting communities across all 26 counties in areas such as health and wellbeing, poverty, food waste and the environment, as well as youth citizenship. The Awards have attracted a record level of entries and every project entered serves as an important reminder that we all have the potential to be good citizens, and that means taking action to bring about change for the better.”
The event was opened by Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Helen McEntee TD. DJ Jenny Greene MC’d the awards ceremony and played DJ sets throughout the day, music was provided by bands Seo Linn and The Strypes and the thousands of young people attending enjoyed numerous activities in the carnival themed arena.
For further information please contact:
Helena Clarke, Foróige Marketing Communications Officer
087 632 5138 / 01 630 1732