THAT’S THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN WHO WERE LIVING IN POVERTY IN IRELAND PRE-PANDEMIC. IT’S A HARROWING FIGURE AND IS ALMOST CERTAINLY HIGHER NOW.
Never has there been a time in Irish history where young people have lost so much. Or, have needed to become our number one priority.
That is why we exist. To ensure that those young people still get a fair shot in life. To remove the barriers to success and enable them to reach their full potential and break the cycle of poverty. The IYF receives no government funding. You, our incredible supporters, make all of that work possible.
The IYF community of supporters is diverse – from our amazing corporate supporters, our hardy peloton of Mizen to Malin cyclists, our children’s hour supporters, to altruistic individuals across the country. All united in a determination to ensure a fairer Ireland; a belief in the abilities and ambitions of our children and young people; and an unwillingness to see a generation cast aside.
Recently this work has become even more urgent. All young people have suffered during the pandemic. The most marginalised, already struggling, suffered disproportionately. They lost loved ones, had their safe spaces removed, access to trusted adults blocked, and their outside worlds stolen from them.
Without the technology, or the space to meaningfully participate in online education, many dropped out of school and disengaged from their youth services. They began to slip through the cracks. With little agency, and no platform to voice their struggles they mostly suffered unheard.
Yet there is hope. There are solutions which are both practical and cost efficient: enabling and resourcing those who know and understand young people and their circumstances best – youth workers who have the knowledge and trust to rebuild and re-engage young people.
We have been bowled over by the resilience and determination shown by youth services in the efforts to ensure young people did not slip through the cracks. While the world shut down around us and we retreated to our safe homes to see out the lockdowns, dedicated youth workers continued to work tirelessly to remain connected to the young people they serve. They have innovated, and they have kept their doors open whenever possible. These extraordinary individuals form an intrinsic part of the rich tapestry of unsung frontline heroes of the pandemic.
Ireland’s dedicated youth workers are now working harder than ever to counteract the effects of the past two years – through evidence-based programmes focusing on mental wellbeing, employability training, and education. Much of this work, which has already begun, is thanks to your support and that of those like you.
Your support has meant we are able to continue to invest in thousands of these young people in villages, towns and cities across Ireland.
It has also allowed our young people, and their youth workers, to have a voice. A space to tell their stories, on their terms. In doing so we have been able to make sure the country sat up and listened. To ensure that this issue was part of the national conversation. As it must be.
Over the last year we released our Generation Pandemic report which helped to quantify the impact of the pandemic on our most vulnerable citizens and A Stitch in Time, a docuseries which put young people and their youth workers centre stage. Their brave and honest accounts of their experiences represented the voices of thousands more.
Looking into 2022 there is still much work to be done. But as always there are skilled men and women working on the ground who understand what it takes to get young people over the line.Your support has already helped so many do so.On their behalf we thank you.
Your support has already helped so many do so.
On their behalf we thank you.
Do you have what it takes to become an Irish Youth Foundation Gladiator?
We’re looking for 50 Gladiators to cycle from Milan to Rome in aid of The Irish Youth Foundation. Join our peloton and cycle from Milan to Rome while raising funds for The Irish Youth Foundation. We will be passing through the iconic cities of Parma, Pisa, Florence and Sienna en route. Saturday 24th September to Saturday 1st October 2022. More details available in January from our website. If you would like more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join our Fellowship programme for targeted backing of brilliant young people.
Details to be released in January.