Over 100 young people attended the launch of the Foróige Peace Learning for Young People project in the Bush Hotel early in February.
There was a fantastic turnout with young people from Kinlough, Manorhamilton, Mohill and Carrick-on- Shannon in attendance. After the launch, teen expert and motivational speaker Ray Langan gave a workshop to the young people about setting goals, digital skills and leadership.
Speaking at the launch of the programme, Claire Gavigan, area manager with Foróige, said “The programme has three key elements – the first is leadership and understanding peace, the second explores peace though films that were made in or about Northern Ireland. The third strand, involves the online sharing of learning through social media.
“The young people who have travelled here today, have taken the first step in an important journey, where they will learn important leadership skills such as critical thinking, communication, decision making, resilience, collaboration, empathy, creativity and problem solving.
“This programme would not be possible without the support of Leitrim County Council and the dedication of the Peace IV Partnership through funding provided by the EU’s Peace IV Programme and managed by the Special EU Programmes Body.
Sean McGowan, cathaoirleach of Leitrim County Council, speaking at the launch said “the young people we have here today, and involved with this peace project, can influence and contribute to a Leitrim that is happily diverse, accepting of difference and can work towards further growing respect across communities.”
Speaking at the event Polina Kozhuharova, aged 16 from Leitrim village also said “this project and the work of Foróige is so important, because young people get to learn about things that they wouldn’t in their day to day lives like helping society and how to become a leader.”
Congratulating the project on its launch Gina McIntyre CEO of the SEUPB added: “This is a fantastic project which will equip young people with the confidence, motivation and skills they need to become leaders within their own communities.
“It will give them the courage to meet with and learn from other young people from a different background and bring this learning back home to friends and family.
“This is one of the core objectives of the EU’s Peace IV Programme as it is helping thousands of young people, on a cross border and cross community basis right across the region, to achieve their full potential.”