A number of Longford youths showcased at the Youth Expo last week, a major national exhibition celebrating the positive contributions young people made to society through their involvment with the Foróige youth citizenship programme.
Young People from Leap Youth Bank, The Attic Drug Awareness Graphic Design Group, The Attic Youth Café and The Attic TY Drug and Alcohol Peer Mentoring Group were among 141 youth citizenship projects showcased at the permanent tsb Foróige Youth Expo on 1st July last.
3,000 young people (aged between 10 and 18) the length and breadth of Ireland attended the event.
Of the Longford projects on display, the Leap Youth Bank’s project detailed a personal finance project which set up a youth bank scheme for local youth groups. Both the Attic Drug Awareness Graphic Design Group and the Attic TY Drug and Alcohol Peer Mentoring Group ran drug and alcohol awareness campaigns. The Attic Youth Café ran the hugely popular HYPE music festival in the rugby club last month, helping to raise funds for a new premises in Longford, and this was the basis for their display.
The Youth Expo, organised in association with permanent tsb, tackled a wide variety of issues through the projects on display including homophobic bullying, rural isolation, farm safety, suicide prevention and youth mental health among others.
Speaking at the event, the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald TD, said: “This exhibition paints a valuable picture of what is important to young people in community life today and how they believe they can shape a better Ireland. The wide variety of projects are both practical and inspirational and demonstrate how young people are making a positive difference as active citizens.”
The Chairperson of the National Council of Foróige, Paul Maher said the Citizenship Programme supports and encourages young people to be catalysts for positive change to enhance communities both at home and abroad. “This Youth Expo presents a highly compelling insight into an honest and self aware group of teens who are highly motivated and engaged members of society,” he said.