The ROI Youth Leadership Programme was set up in 2013 as a youth led initiative which aims to encourage young people to actively engage in their communities, developing their confidence and leadership skills while building positive relations among the young people locally and on a cross border basis.
Co-operation Ireland in partnership with local youth organisations delivers a cross border youth leadership project aimed at encouraging marginalised young people to actively engage in their communities through a programme linked to exploring the role of sport in developing good relations and leadership skills.
The Project brings young people and communities together from designated disadvantaged areas across Cork, Dublin and Belfast with little or no opportunities to work together. The young people engage in a cross border exchange programme exploring the role of sport in bringing people together to build positive relationships and the influence sport can have on our sense of identity and belonging.
The overall aim of the Youth Leadership Project is:
To build the capacity of young people to take on an active leadership role in their communities and to engage positively with others from different backgrounds, including cross-border
Specific objectives included:
- To promote positive personal development among participants, building confidence and life skills
- To enhance young people’s knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the potential role of sport in developing good relations and leadership skills
- To nurture the young people’s leadership potential, promoting their development as active and positive members of their communities
- To facilitate the young people to meet and work with peers from different backgrounds, locally and cross-border, developing positive relationships and deepening their respect and understanding for cultural diversity.
The project runs from September to May, following a school year although is run external to the school setting and includes a number of key components, outlined below:
- Facilitated sessions within the local communities
- Accredited training
- Leading change within their own communities
- Working with leaders within their communities to tackle an issue of importance to their lives
- Working together locally and with a cross border partner
- Developing an awareness and appreciation of diversity
- Learning to work cooperatively with others
Young people involved in the Finglas Youth Leadership Programme speak about their experience in video