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Children and Young People
Youth Link NI
The TRANSFORM project engaged with around 480 young people (aged 14-24) from across Northern Ireland and the Border Region of Ireland to help them fulfil their potential.
Transform has presented me with so many opportunities to grow as an individual and it really helps young people like me to develop skills that are useful for our future. It has also brought so many different people together that would typically never really get the chance to interact with one another and we get to learn about each other’s backgrounds and what unites us. We have built an incredible support network for ourselves, not only from the participants of the Transform Project but also our leaders.
Anna, aged 18, Portadown cohort.
The TRANSFORM project engaged with around 480 young people (aged 14-24) from across Northern Ireland and the Border Region of Ireland to help them fulfil their potential. Over the course of the project they were able to develop skills, build confidence, gain OCN qualifications; and contribute positively as active citizens within their communities. The project was delivered through a youth work approach using non-formal learning environments and tools for change.
Participating beneficiaries were from the Protestant, Catholic and minority groups and experienced three cross-cutting themes: Personal Development; Good Relations and Citizenship. Such activities enabled personal development in self-awareness, understanding, relationship skills, and active citizenship. All participants gained volunteering experience and participated in a sporting event from a tradition different from their own. In addition, they participated in a cultural/arts event tackling issues of sectarianism, racism, and discrimination.
The outbreak of a global pandemic was a challenge for this project, but a quick reorganisation meant that participants were still able to work towards and achieve OCN Level 2 qualifications in topics such as Personal Success and Wellbeing. The project team engaged participants with online features such as quizzes, podcasts and even fitness classes. They even maintained one-on-one contact through the drop-off of materials at participants’ homes and through phone calls.
The number of young people aged 14-24 who are most marginalised and disadvantaged completing approved programmes that develop their soft skills and a respect for diversity: 120 The number of young people aged 14-24 who are most marginalised and disadvantaged completing approved programmes that develop their soft skills and a respect for diversity: 360
I feel that the work that we are doing has never been more important than in the current fragile political state that our country is in. Challenging the ‘us and them’ mentality that exists in our community and helping shape the idea that we are ‘one community’ has been a key component in this cohort. My favourite part of the whole Transform project is supporting those meaningful conversations between two people who would have never met, because of the religious/political affiliation and helping them see that they really are not that different. Opening up the possibility of creating meaningful friendships based on shared interests, rather than avoidance of someone because of their political identity.
Transform Youth Worker