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This past month a group of young climate activists from Londonderry YMCA met at Greenhill to discuss recommending the adoption of the NYCI Climate Charter. The group is formed by members that come from 3 communities that surround the YMCA at Drumahoe.
The group is made up of young volunteers and aspiring youth workers have worked over the last two years completing both youth work training and more recently their Level 2 OCN in Community Development. Although initially the idea of the group was to adopt the charter and look at sustainability within their local YMCA, they quickly realised that they were on a similar journey to other young people across the YMCA movement. With this knowledge and a sense of something bigger going on, the group looked at how they could impact not only their own YMCA, but have something that could inspire others across the island and beyond.
Members of the group participated the Global Youth Work event in June and met with TJ Hourihan, the national Youth Advocacy Officer, who has been a great voice of encouragement, support and direction. Daniel Hetherington & Ryan Peoples also attended the YMCA Europe Y2Gether event in Berlin as National Youth Representatives. The training they received as part of this experience was invaluable; Developing skills around action planning and presenting ideas, which they will need in the coming weeks and months as they present their ideas and start implementing the changes they have envisioned.
The group began by agreeing to recommend the charter to the board of directors and will present the charter to them alongside their action plan. The action plan started by looking at short, medium and long term changes that could be made at Londonderry YMCA. The aim is that this action plan will then be developed into a shareable document that any of the associations throughout Ireland can pick up and use as a model for sustainable practice.
Utilising the different skills within the group, they have also looked at creating recycling initiatives to support the action plan alongside other campaigns and lobbying for organisational support and government initiatives. The the group will also present ideas to their local youth work team for further projects to include all youth members.
It is clear to say that this group of passionate young people believe the time for talking is over and it’s time for actions! We look forward to hearing more from this group and seeing their impact across the YMCA in Ireland and beyond!
Patrick MaguireYouth WorkerLondonderry YMCA
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