Our Work

Foróige's Leadership for Life Programme Overview

The development of young people as leaders is core to the work of Foróige. Foróige’s Leadership for Life is an exciting programme that enables young people to develop the skills and qualities necessary to be effective leaders, as well as challenging them to use these skills for the betterment of society. 

The Leadership for Life programme sets out to empower young people to make a positive difference to their community through practical actions and projects. Throughout the course of the programme, young people learn the core concepts of leadership and gain skills such as communication, teamwork, problem solving, critical thinking, self-awareness etc. The programme sets about developing the leadership capabilities and potential of young people and gives them an opportunity to harness their skills and attributes to contribute to their society in a fun and encouraging environment.


The programme is underpinned by theories and principles of youth work, leadership styles and adolescent development, as well as a literature review compiled specifically to inform the programme by the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at the National University of Ireland, Galway. The accompanying conceptual model brings together the development of skills, environmental factors and action orientated behaviour necessary for youth leadership development. The programme uses group work and individual reflection, as well as practical projects to develop and expand leadership skills. Young people learn to look past themselves at their community and wider society when setting their leadership goals. The programme now runs in clubs, projects and schools across the country, as well as annually at the Foróige Youth Leadership Conference, and combines with an additional module for the NUI Galway accredited Foundation Certificate in Youth Leadership and Community Action.


Aim & Outcomes

The Leadership for Life programme aims:
  • To enable young people to develop the skills, inspiration, vision, confidence, and action plans to be effective leaders.
  • To empower young people to make a positive difference to their society through the practice of effective leadership.
The programme is divided into three modules and will motivate and equip young people to:
  • Identify their personal strengths and the motivations that inspire them to become leaders
  • Develop a clear vision of what they would like to achieve as a leader
  • Develop a greater understanding of their style of leadership
  • Explore the challenges and difficulties of leadership
  • Develop clear communication skills
  • Explore local, national and global issues
  • Explain and apply methods of conflict resolution
  • Practice problem solving and critical thinking skills as part of a group
  • Identify goals and vision for the future and develop action plans to achieve these
  • Organise and plan a project
  • Use logic model for planning


Programme Content

Module 1
• Enables participants to explore what leadership is and the type of leaders they would like to be. The module focuses on core leadership skills such as communication, problem solving, self-awareness, values and action planning.
Module 2
• Enables participants to work with others to achieve a leadership goal. The module focuses on how leadership can have a positive impact on society by tackling both local and global issues. Module 2 also focuses on research skills, conflict resolution, critical thinking and exploring leadership styles.
Module 3
• Enables participants to put into practice their learning from previous modules by actively engaging in a community action project of their choice, keeping a learning journal of their experiences and presenting a portfolio upon completion.

Evaluation of the Programme

Evaluation of Foróige’s Leadership for Life programme took place over 2011-2013, and involved 431 young people (264 who completed the programme and 164 as a comparison group). Measures of leadership, life skills, resilience, empathy and social support were taken at three points, before, after, and as a follow up to the programme, in addition to qualitative measures from focus groups and interviews.
The evaluation showed that young people who completed the leadership programme showed significant improvement when compared to the comparison group including increased goal setting, empathy, critical thinking, communication skills, teamwork, problem solving, leadership skills, community involvement, resilience, sibling support, total social support, emotional support and esteem support.

Training Description

Facilitator training is available for those who are interested in running the leadership programme with young people. To avail of the training facilitators must:  
  • Have experience of delivering programmes with young people. 
  • Have completed Garda Vetting and Child Protection Training. 
  • Agree to facilitate the programme as outlined in the terms and conditions. 
  • Be able to outline how they plan to implement the programme.  
Please contact Leadership@foroige.ie for further information.