A special online programme aimed at youths has brought together 8,000 people.
Youth work is built on face to face contact, but due to the current Covid 19 pandemic, online youth work has become an important means of providing youth provision.
Strive is a good relations programme for young people aged 14 to 24, led by Include Youth in partnership with Youth Initiatives (a core funded group of the Community Relations Council), Newstart Education Centre, Northern Ireland Alternatives and Lifford Clonleigh Resource Centre. Young people on the programme work together to set their own learning agenda around the themes of citizenship, personal development and good relations.
In May and June 2020, Strive hosted two regional activities on social media, as an alternative to meeting in person. The Strive Showcase involved young people across Northern Ireland and County Donegal displaying their talents in the form of dance, baking, art, music and more.
Emer Maguire a musician and science communicator hosted the Strive Showcase, including an introduction video and song, and then judged the competition.
Eric O’Sullivan from Ulster Rugby introduced “I’m A Striver Get Me Out Of Lockdown!” which challenged young people to take part in whacky activities to find out who were the Kings and Queens of quarantine within their own communities.
A young participant on the programme said:
“These events were a really good idea for everyone to take part in together. It was fun doing and watching it!”
Tina Hartley, Include Youth’s Cross Site Worker, said:
“Strive programme prides itself on cross site working between different sites on both sides of the border and with the current pandemic these meet ups were postponed for the foreseeable future. The two events were created so that the programme could continue to offer opportunities for young people and youth workers to come together.”
Dearbhla Holohan, Programme Manager added:
“Our regional Strive activities demonstrated that although we are physically apart we are united in purpose. The input from young people and youth workers from Donegal to Downpatrick made us feel connected and uplifted. Both events were a reminder of the resilience and determination of our young people to continue to engage with each other throughout lockdown.”
Reaching 8,000 People Online
Both events reached over 8,000 people online. A huge factor in the success of their events was the talent, commitment and enthusiasm of young people putting themselves out there and stepping out of their comfort zones.