Queen’s hosts graduation for Lower Ormeau and Donegall Pass youth project

Queen’s hosts graduation for Lower Ormeau and Donegall Pass youth project

Tue 04 Apr 2023 by Co-operation Ireland

A graduation ceremony was held in Queen’s University Belfast on Wednesday night (March 29) to honour young people from the Lower Ormeau and Donegall Pass who completed a youth leadership programme run by peacebuilding charity Co-operation Ireland.

Funded by The Executive Office, Our Kids Future Leaders was delivered along with LORAG and South Belfast Alternatives to bring the neighbouring communities together through peer-to-peer learning.

Through the programme, those taking part were provided the opportunity to visit each other’s communities, participate in away from home experiences and work together on a social engagement project.

The programme finished with QUB hosting a graduation event with each participant awarded a certificate in leadership.

Brian Armstrong from South Belfast Alternatives said the programme had made a big difference.

‘The project provided young people from Donegall Pass with the opportunity to positively engage with young people from the lower part of the Ormeau Road an area of influence in the South Belfast Urban Village area. 

“Linking the educational workshops in with Queens University highlights the possibility of access to university for those living in the shadow, which in turn lifts future aspirations of those involved.”

Natasha Brennan from LORAG said the programme had been a huge success.

 “LORAG enjoyed being part of this programme bringing together young people from neighbouring communities to develop friendships, build skills and raise aspirations. 

“The young people completed a range of workshops and a residential and it is great to see how their confidence has grown. It was also fantastic to develop relationships with Queens University and invite parents to the university to be part of the programme celebration.”

Project Manager with Co-operation Ireland Emma Kennedy said the programme met a number of aims.

“Co-operation Ireland is very proud to have been involved in this programme because not only does it build relationships, but there are tangible benefits for those taking part through the leadership training they received.

“I want to thank Queen’s University for their support and everyone who made the programme such a success”.

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