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Attendee snapping a picture of the presentation which took place at Buncrana Youth Club.

Inishowen youths graduate from development programme

Published on:  17 Jun 2019

Fifteen young people from across the Inishowen Peninsula received their certificates today at a special presentation in Buncrana Youth Club, having successfully completed CHANCE, a new programme in personal and skills development, run by the Inishowen Development Partnership. Funded through the International Fund for Ireland’s Personal Youth Development Programme (PYDP), CHANCE was created to help young people develop skills that will enable them to progress into training, further education or employment. 

The 18-month cross-community scheme was 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 fifteen 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 blended programme offered a combination of skills training, personal development and leisure activities to identify appropriate pathways for the participants to progress into education, training or work. Themes covered included good relations, mental health programmes, life skills and communications workshops as well as taster sessions and work experience in creative skills such as electronics, food and nutrition, and health and beauty.

The guests at today’s ceremony included Paddy Harte, Chair of the International Fund for Ireland. Congratulating the fifteen graduates of the programme, Mr Harte said:  “We were delighted to support this project through our PYDP programme, as it typifies the positive impact and change that we are committed to delivering in communities around the border counties and in Northern Ireland. Sometimes traditional youth efforts are not effective in engaging with young people or the complex and polarising issues that they face and new ideas and new approaches are needed. PYDP is designed for young people who feel let down or left behind. It aims to help young people build and develop life skills that foster good relations, build confidence and resilience and make them more employable.

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

Shauna McClenaghan, Joint CEO, Inishowen Development Partnership said CHANCE differed from other programmes in that it was participant led which was a major factor in its success. “We were not pushing these young people in a direction that they didn’t want to go. The individual programmes that we designed with each participant ensured that we were supporting them appropriately and helping them to develop the skills they really needed and wanted.”

She added: “None of this could have happened without the International Fund for Ireland. On behalf of the Inishowen Development Partnership, the CHANCE team and our 15 graduates, I would like to thank the IFI most sincerely for their support and funding, without which, we could not have undertaken this project.”

Inishowen Development Partnership works to empower disaffected and socially isolated individuals and communities with particular attention given to marginalised young people.  Based in the Inishowen Peninsula, for over 20 years it has been helping to promote and support social and enterprise development to facilitate rural regeneration as well as community development to help local communities deal with the causes and consequences of social and economic disadvantage or poverty, areas that suffered significant disadvantage as a result of the Troubles.

In 2018, the International Fund for Ireland approved funding of €7m in PYDP projects across Northern Ireland and the border counties of Ireland including Donegal.  The PYDP seeks to engage young people who face barriers to participation in mainstream provision and are vulnerable to polarisation/recruitment to organisations opposed to the peace process. They will also have typically faced a range of complex issues including; substance abuse, homelessness, difficult family backgrounds, been in or close to criminal justice system, suffer from poor mental health issues and have not participated in society in a positive manner.

In the past year 1,158 young people have taken part, with 431 progressing to education and training, receiving a combined 1,675 accreditations, with 153 securing employment.

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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