The new PEACE IV grants ‘Arts4Youth’ project was launched on Tuesday, the 2nd of July in the Donegal Youth Service Headquarters in Letterkenny. This exciting new project will engage with young people from different backgrounds aged 14-17 throughout the county, who will co-design the creative arts based programme, which aims to increase understanding and respect for diversity, as well as strengthen cross-border and cross-community relations.

This project forms part of Donegal County Council’s €5.5m Local Authority Action Plan. This Action Plan is funded through the EU’s PEACE IV Programme, which is managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). Match-funding has been provided by the Executive Office in Northern Ireland and the Department of Rural and Community Development in Ireland.   

Back row: DYS Youth Outreach Manager Charlene Logue, Youth Workers Laura Doherty and Claire Bradley, DYS Regional Director Lorraine Thompson, Programme Coordinator Peace IV Donegal County Council Caroline McCleary, Assistant Programme Coordinator Loretta Devenney
Front row: Cllr. Paul Canning, Cathaoirleach Nicholas Crossan, Programme Administrator Shaun Canny

Funded projects under the Action Plan will see the promotion of positive relations characterised by respect and were cultural diversity is celebrated and people can live, learn and socialise together, free from prejudice, hate and intolerance. Activities will focus on developing strong inclusive civic leadership that promotes positive relationships, encourages dialogue, and supports practical efforts to bring about change between individuals and communities.  Initiatives will be tackling real and complex issues, such as sectarianism and racism in border regions.

Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council,  Cllr Nicholas Crossan welcomed the new project, saying “I am delighted to be here in Letterkenny for the launch of the Donegal Youth Service ‘Arts4youth’ project, which received funding through the grants element of the Donegal PEACE IV Action Plan. I would like to acknowledge the good work undertaken by the Donegal Youth Service to date and we look forward to working with them and seeing the positive outcomes of this excellent project.“

Arts4Youth Participant Eimear Kelly speaking about her experience on the programme so far

Speaking at the launch the Chair of the Donegal Peace IV Partnership Cllr Paul Canning said “This ‘Arts4Youth’ PEACE IV grants project will focus on facilitating and encouraging the involvement of 140 young people aged from 14-17 from marginalised, disadvantaged and disengaged communities over a 15 month period. The young people will participate in a co-design process where facilitated sessions will be creative, high energy and fun.”

Arts4Youth will focus on several key areas: Good Relations, Citizenship, Personal Development, Self Expression, and Creativity.  With drama, dance, music, and multimedia just some of the creative arts on offer as part of the programme, young people will have an opportunity to develop their skills, as well as boost their confidence and self-esteem.

Donegal Youth Service Regional Director, Lorraine Thompson said “Donegal Youth Service have been involved in Peace & Reconciliation based youth work for over 20 years and we are delighted with the opportunity to bring this project to rural areas in Donegal.”

Arts4Youth will work with 140 young people over 15 months, who will go on to become active citizens in their communities. 

Arts4Youth Participants from Planet Youth, Ballybofey with Youth Worker Claire Bradley

For more information about Arts4Youth, or getting involved in the programme please contact Donegal Youth Service on (074) 91 29630, e-mail admin@donegalyouthservice.ie, visit www.donegalyouthservice.ie, or call in to us at 16-18 Port Road, Letterkenny.  We are also on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter.  Donegal Youth Service is a registered charity.  Charity No.  CHY 15027.

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For any press enquiries please contact layla.kuyper@donegalyouthservice.ie

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