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17 Aug 2022

I’m Staying At Home: Foróige members send a powerful message to their peers

Foróige Futures Project: Local young people send a powerful message during Covid-19 pandemic

I’m Staying At Home: Foróige members send a powerful message to their peers

Local Foróige members getting out the message, “I’m Staying At Home” recently as they work to slow the spread of Covid-19 in Ireland

Foróige Futures Project for Longford and Leitrim funded under the Social Innovation Fund Ireland and the Tomar Trust was launched in September 2019 by Dr Sean Campbell CEO of Foróige.

The youth project addresses the problem of early school leaving and low educational achievement in rural areas, where many students lack adequate access to support services.

Young people who have for various reasons fallen behind in the education system are identified on a local level, through established youth clubs and local supports are put in place to help them navigate and progress in the educational system.

The Foróige Futures Project has worked within communities to establish youth clubs in all areas of rural Longford/Leitrim in an effort to bring youth work directly to the young people living in rural communities around the counties.

Through Participation in this programme, rural communities have increased their resilience by safeguarding, harnessing and realising the potential of their population of young people.

The Foróige Futures team, consisting of Senior Youth Officer Jim Maher, Youth Development Workers Alan Judge and Cyril Reilly and volunteer Co-ordinator Frances Sweeney are delighted at the response to the project in the region.

Speaking to the Longford Leader, Jim Maher explains that the educational aspect of the project has already engaged with over 100 young people from around the region through the Foróige Leadership for Life programme, both module one and two, Driver Theory Test workshops, QQI Level 3 in Floor and Wall tiling and Career Preparation, Cookery Life Skills Programme and Accenture Skills to succeed Academy.

“Young people have really embraced the new support project and are keen to get involved in educational programmes,” Jim explained.

Foróige Club development remains the major approach taken by the team with the development of new Foróige clubs throughout the region.

Longford communities have engaged in recruiting suitable volunteers and planned with the Foróige Futures team to develop clubs in each community in Co. Longford.

A lot of time and planning goes into the establishment of Foróige youth clubs in order to get it right and build them to be the fundamental stepping stone for youth development in each of our communities.

Recently with the arrival of Covid-19 to our shores, Foróige, the National Youth Organisation, has taken a huge leap into delivering youth programmes and youth clubs online through various forums available to communities online.

Foróige Futures has really proven its “futures” tag line as already Foróige Youth Clubs are meeting online through the app Zoom along with weekly Kahoot! Quizzes, Monthly Online Bingo, and Club Challenges.

Cyril Reilly explained that young people have reacted positively to the change and have even carried out projects to support charities in need.

Recently, groups at the Attic House Teen Project under the guidance of Joanna Casey launched the project Little Women in AID of Bigger Women - taking a stand against increasing Domestic Violence during Covid-19.

The online campaign raises money in order to purchase food vouchers for Bethany House in Longford.

A second initiative the “I’m Staying At Home Initiative”, which saw members encouraging their peers to stay at home to help combat the spread of Covid-19.

The groups at the Foróige Attic House also donated Easter egg goodies to frontline staff at the Longford Garda Station.

Some new groups being established online for the summer months are:
*Building Emotional Resilience and Mindfulness: For all teens throughout the region and supported by a volunteer
*Resilience Coach Olive Robinson
*Digital Creations – for creative young people
*Cookery MasterChef – become a culinary genius during the pandemic
*Drama Workshops in conjunction with Backstage Theatre
*Lego club – Are you ready to be set the ultimate challenge?

Young people interested in signing up to these new summer groups are asked to contact the Foróige Futures team on Facebook to register.

There is absolutely no cost to the groups and they will be running for one hour for six weeks throughout the summer months.

If you would like to register for groups or find out how to establish a group in your community Contact Cyril Reilly at 086 0144832 0r email Cyril.reilly@foroige.ie.

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