A Galway based national youth organisation is calling on young people to take a stand in relation to ongoing job losses and cuts in key health, education, transport and community services.
According to the director of the SpunOut.ie organisation, which engages several thousand young people each week, it is time young people got their voices heard and their ideas implemented. One in three under 25s is now unemployed.
“We can’t simply sit back and watch the dole queues grow,” says Ruairí McKiernan. “It’s a tragic waste of the amazing education, skills and human energy of an entire generation. There doesn’t seem to be any real leadership or direction emerging from the traditional sources of power so it’s time we looked to ourselves for solutions.”
He says young people should not accept emigration or unemployment as options.
“We are worth much more than that and deserve a better future. It’s up to us to turn the situation around by getting our voices heard and to start truly influencing and shaping the national debate. It is clear that fresh thinking and ideas are needed on job creation, immigration, heath care and politics. Ireland happens to have one of the largest per capita populations of young people in Europe and therefore a huge untapped resource for creating a new vision for Ireland.
“The internet is one accessible way of organising ourselves for campaigning and activism and SpunOut.ie will soon roll out a range of training, support and development programmes aimed at fostering a new generation of engaged citizens.”
Staffed by a team of seven fulltime and three part-time professionals all under 32 years SpunOut.ie is an independent youth powered national charity working to help people create personal and social change. It combines an interactive online community providing health and lifestyle information, signposting to help services, an alternative youth media space, dynamic discussion forums, and a platform for youth engagement, participation and advocacy.
It reaches more than 500,000 users online each year and has won numerous awards including Golden Spider and Net Visionary awards.
It has been providing information, support services and opportunities throughout Ireland since 2005. The innovative organisation campaigns on a range of issues that include mental health, sexual health, environmental issues and social justice.