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Nine young people from across southwest Donegal receive their certificates. Pictured are course participants with Paddy Harte, Chairman of the International Fund for Ireland, Dolores McGeady, Donegal ETB (both seated) and course facilitators, Kieran McHugh and Kate Morgan.

Donegal Youths Graduate From Development Programme

Published on:  14 Oct 2019

Nine young people from across southwest Donegal received certificates last week at a special presentation in the Highland Hotel, Glenties after successfully completing ‘Ignite Your Future’, a programme in personal and skills development, run by the Hub Youth Centre. Funded through the International Fund for Ireland’s Personal Youth Development Programme (PYDP), ‘Ignite Your Future’ was created to help young people develop skills that will enable them to progress into training, further education or employment. 

The two year cross-community scheme is participant led, with a programme of activities, training and supports that was tailored to suit each participant, based on a personal development plan and goals, which were developed at the commencement of the programme. The nine participants aged between 16 to 25 years, who were not in full time education, employment or training when they joined the programme, are all moving on now to opportunities in their chosen areas.

The project aims to inspire young people to create compelling futures for themselves by addressing skills deficits and supporting personal growth. These young people who have been through the programme were experiencing social anxiety or other mental health issues which were limiting their ability to vision a successful future.

The programme aims to build self-confidence through educational visits, targeted learning, good relations and developing life skills. It reduces feelings of isolation in young people from a very rural part of Donegal, provides peer support and a friendship group. The programme addresses self-limited thinking and supports participants to take the next step into further education or employment. 

The guests at today’s ceremony included Paddy Harte, Chair of the International Fund for Ireland. Congratulating the nine graduates of the programme, Mr Harte said:  “We were delighted to support this project through our PYDP programme, as it illustrates the positive impact and change that the IFI are committed to delivering in communities around the border counties and in Northern Ireland. Young people faced with complex and polarising issues need new ideas and new approaches as sometimes traditional youth efforts do not engage with them effectively. PYDP has been devised for young people who are disaffected and left behind. It aims to help young people build and develop life skills that foster good relations, build confidence and resilience and improve their employability. 

“I commend each of you for your commitment and engagement with the programme and wish you every success for your futures,” he added.

Speaking about the ‘Ignite Your Future’ project, Kate Morgan, co-ordinator, Downstrands Family Resource Centre said: “This initiative has sought to develop capabilities within communities here in southwest Donegal to promote the personal growth and development of its young people, while also increasing the skills base which will help towards improving economic prosperity in this region. The life skills attained by the participants will help to empower these areas of southwest Donegal that have suffered significant economic disadvantage.”

She added: “None of this could have happened without the International Fund for Ireland. On behalf of Downstrands Family Resource Centre, the ‘Ignite Your Future’ team and our nine graduates, I would like to thank the IFI most sincerely for their support and funding, without which, we could not have undertaken this project.”

For further information about our funding programmes, or for information on how to apply for funding, please contact the person(s) or organisation(s) identifed at the end of the relevant programme summary in the areas of activity section.

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