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Young people urged to consider running for NW Ministry of Youth Council

13 September 2019

The new youth voice for the Derry / Londonderry and Strabane area have launched a recruitment drive for local young people to apply to become a Youth Councillor.

The North West Ministry of Youth are inviting Council residents aged 14-18 to submit their interest in becoming one of the 35 Councillors online at youth19.com/nw-ministry-of-youth/ before the deadline of September 27th 2019.

A key commitment within Youth 19, the NW Ministry of Youth has been co-designed with young people for young people.

Youth Councillors will represent local communities (eight seats), schools and colleges (twenty seats), people not in mainstream education, training or employment (two seats), existing youth voice structures (three seats) and representatives from the Donegal Youth Council (two seats).

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Michaela Boyle, urged young people to take ownership of the initiative by considering putting themselves forward as a Youth Councillor.

“The North West Ministry of Youth is the voice of the young people in our City and District, empowering them and giving them a say in the matters that affect their lives,” she said.

“It’s an opportunity for our youth to become leaders in promoting diversity and tackling discrimination by working together to shape their future.

“Our young people are the leaders of tomorrow and I would encourage them to make the Ministry of Youth their own by considering putting themselves forward for the position of Youth Councillor.

Reiltin from the Youth Steering Group added: “Most important of all, we have designed the proposals for the Youth Council structure, the age group, how it will be run and how decisions would be made.

“We’ve all truly become a strong team who are hoping to become future leaders.

“The voices of young people truly matter and we need a space in the North West to allow young people to be heard.

“We’re hoping this youth council achieves that and that’s why we’re encouraging people to put themselves forward to become a Youth Councillor in future.”

Cooperation Ireland will work with the Education Authority to deliver the new Youth Voice on behalf of Derry City and Strabane District Council.

The opportunity will offer a combination of training, study visits, interactive team building and residential activities to support young people to fulfil their Youth Councillor role effectively.

No prior experience is needed; instead, we ask that young people can demonstrate being open minded, committed, interested in learning and in taking part in new experiences.

Support will be given every step of the way.

Ryan an active member of the steering group said: “I believe young people should take the opportunity to get involved as our future is being decided for us.

“Taking the chance to speak for ourselves will give us a voice and build confidence and self-worth.”

Young people involved will become leaders in promoting diversity and tackling discrimination.

The key focus will be to deliver on the Youth Manifesto, where Youth Councillors will vote on the allocation of the £24,000 budget.

A fantastic opportunity to lead campaigns, make positive change, meet people from different cultures and develop your skills and experiences for the future.

Rossa, an active member of the steering group added: “To me, the Youth Participation and Democracy element of Peace IV offers my generation something they have never had before, a voice. We can learn and understand how our government functions and finally change the future toward something that benefits us all. The establishment of a youth council in the Derry/Londonderry and Strabane district will make sure that youth are represented fairly with our issues and struggles being solved by those who understand them first hand, with this program we can take our future into our own hands and mould it to what best represents us”.

This new opportunity is funded by the EU’s PEACE IV Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body. Match-funding has been provided by the Executive Office in Northern Ireland and the Department of Rural and Community Development in Ireland.

For more information about the opportunity and how to take part visit youth19.com/nw-ministry-of-youth/.