On Monday the Minister of State with special responsibility for Overseas Development Peter Power TD launched a new three-way partnership at NUI Galway, which it is hoped will greatly benefit young people in Zambia.
The partnership is forged by NUI Galway’s UNESCO Chair in Children Youth and Civic Engagement at the Child and Family Research Centre, Foroige, the National Youth Development Organisation and Alan Kerins projects.
The major aim and objective of this partnership is to further the long standing commitment of UNESCO, to address the challenges facing youth, and to foster young people’s participation in the development of their societies, with an initial focus on Zambia where each organisation has well established links.
As a primary step the partnership intends to initiate a pilot project in the Kaoma district in the Western Province of Zambia targeting young people affected by HIV/AIDS. The partnership will encompass activities across the core areas of the chair’s work which include: research, teaching, policy, advocacy and programme development.
The partnership is currently developing a model for a youth centre, which integrates youth work and sport. Using sport as the initial medium to reach out to young people, the proposed youth centre will provide a forum for youth to actively participate in a range of activities that extend beyond sport, including active citizenship, youth leadership programmes, and life skills training. The partnership will work closely with the University of Zambia to further facilitate access, sharing, and adaption of knowledge between the two regions.
Speaking at the launch on Monday Minister of State for Overseas Development, Peter Power said: “I am delighted to launch this partnership between the Alan Kerins Project, the UNESCO Chair of Children, Youth and Civic Engagement and Foroige. It is a clear demonstration of the commitment and enthusiasm within Ireland to find new and dynamic ways to assist those living in poverty and to end suffering in the developing world.”
Alan Kerins said he was delighted with the new partnership adding, “All of us involved with the Alan Kerins Projects are embracing this new initiative with all our resolve and efforts. In welcoming our new strategic partners, UNESCO and Foroige I am confident that our focus on youth and civic engagement will continue to inspire us in supporting our friends in Zambia through concrete plans and programmes.”