A group of teenagers at the Foróige Neighbourhood Youth Project (NYP) in Bundoran have devised an ambitious project which aims to make the dreams of other young people come true. The project has already proved so successful that the youngsters have decided to enter the National Youth Citizenship Awards, the finals of which will be broadcast on TV3 in November. The concept of ‘Dreams Can Come True’ was devised by the group following several meetings. Their main aim was to come up with something that would really benefit the community. Foróige NYP member Eoin Dillon (17) explains:
“It’s great to be able to give something to our community and see the kids so excited about having their wishes come true. I’m really looking forward to it all. It’s the small things that can make a huge difference. We are arranging for one young person to be a Garda for the day, another kid wants to be a chef and we’re also arranging for one young lad to learn how to play the drums.”
The Foróige NYP members invited applications to make wishes come true and they were inundated! The young people who applied had to make three wishes and explain why they should be included in the project. Eventually 21 were selected and since then the Foróige NYP group has been working tirelessly with the local community to help make the dreams come true. Eoin says the community is fully behind the project:
“It’s unreal. The local business people have been amazing. Without the sponsors we couldn’t make the dreams come true. We’re so excited about entering the citizenship competition and we really hope to do Bundoran proud in Dublin.”
All of the projects entered into the National Youth Citizenship Awards will be showcased under one roof at Dublin’s RDS on the first of July. Foróige’s youth citizenship programme operates outside of a school setting and it’s all about giving young people the values, skills and encouragement to become outstanding members of their community. In 2011, more than 12,000 young people signed up to the programme and then gave their free time to design and implement projects that enriched communities across Ireland and overseas. Each November it is a case of Lights, Camera, Action! as Ireland’s Top Teens take to the stage at Dublin’s Helix Theatre for the awe inspiring finals of the permanent tsb Foróige Youth Citizenship Awards. The jaw dropping exhibition of talent and giving, from some of Ireland’s most inspirational young people, is broadcast on TV3. The Bundoran project will be judged in July and fingers are crossed that it will go through to the national finals.
Bundoran Foróige NYP Project Worker Caroline Cooke said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for all the young people involved to make a difference in their community and hopefully act as ambassadors for Bundoran on the national stage. ‘Dreams Can Come True’ has had huge support from the community and this will help us make the wishes of all the young people involved become a reality. Its not about money and possessions but about quality time with others and learning new skills. Its such a heart-warming project because it is all about young people helping young people.”
If you are interested in getting involved or offering help to the project, please contact Foróige Neighbourhood Youth Project Worker Caroline Cooke on 087 249 2862.