Foróige's overarching aim is to enable young people to involve themselves consciously and actively in their own development and in the development of society. The number of participants is growing year on year and we currently work with almost 50,000 young people aged 10-18 and more than 5,500 adult volunteers annually, through a network of almost 600 Foróige Clubs and over 130 staff-led Youth Projects.
Foróige Clubs are a safe place for young people to hang out, meet new friends and have a voice. What makes a Foróige Club different to other youth clubs is that it is run by the young people themselves. This allows them to believe in themselves, make decisions and practice leadership.
Foróige offers the most diverse range of volunteer programmes in Ireland. More than 5,500 volunteers are the backbone of the organisation. Once someone opts to put themselves forward, the next big decision is what type of volunteering to get involved in. There's everything from Foróige Clubs to Garda Youth Diversion Projects to Big Brother Big Sister youth mentoring. Local communities really benefit because of the people who give their time free of charge. Some of our volunteers have been with us for almost 50 years.
Foróige's Youth Citizenship Programme in partnership with Aldi Ireland is all about giving young people the values, skills and encouragement to become outstanding members of their community. In 2015, Aldi Ireland came on board as a fantastic sponsor for the programme.
You need many qualities to become a great entrepreneur. Innovation and initiative are important, but you must also be creative, enterprising and above all driven. However, the Foróige managed Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) is not about teaching young people how to make money. The priority is to promote leadership, team building and nourish the concept of social entrepreneurship. The text books say that NFTE is a cutting edge, world recognised, youth entrepreneurship, education and development programme. Behind the fancy language, however, there are amazing young people, brimming with ideas and enthusiasm. The real thrill of NFTE is to tap into and draw out those qualities from a young person who otherwise might have kept their talents hidden.
Foróige's youth leadership programme for young people aged 15 to 18 was developed by Foróige. The annual conference takes place in the National University of Ireland, Maynooth bringing hundreds of young people together from around the world. The programme empowers young people to embrace their leadership potential and kick-starts their path to becoming life-long leaders in their communities, business or wherever life may take them. The programme is approved by UNESCO and accredited by NUI Galway. During the week long conference participants hear from inspiring speakers, engage in challenging workshops on topics such as communication skills, critical thinking and problem solving and meet like-minded teenagers from all over the world.