LIMERICK YOUTH SERVICE NEWS: Limerick Youth Service was awash with costumes, music, dance and cuisine from around the globe on Friday last, as we played host to a Youth Intercultural Awareness Evening. The gathering saw young people, their families and performers from over a dozen of Limerick’s diverse communities, share aspects of their respective cultures and learn about others at Lava Javas Youth Café, Lwr Glentworth St. The hundred plus people in attendance, were treated to an array of acts, that ranged from a Congolese music group to an Indian folk dance, Romanian poetry and a performance of ‘The Crossing,’ a play by international students from Scoil Carmel. ‘It was a fantastic night and there should be more of them,’ said Yetunde Jakande, a native of Nigeria, who was at Lava Javas with her daughters. ‘All of the young people here have something in common, in that they have all shared the same experience in coming to and settling in Ireland,’ continued Ms. Jakande. Ms. Jakande’s feelings were certainly evident in ‘The Crossing,’ a play written by international students from Scoil Carmel, Limerick. The play gives an account of the experiences young migrants face when settling in Ireland from feelings of isolation, fear and loneliness, to the excitement of exploring new places and meeting new people. ‘We’ve all shared the same experience of coming to a new country and been surrounded by people who speak a different language,’ said Jubilina Dagogo-jack, a student at Scoil Carmel. ‘With the international mix (in attendance), we could see that many of them could relate to the play,’ added Ms. Dagogo-jack, a native of Nigeria. Ms. Dagogo-jack and her classmates were full of praise for the Cultural Awareness Evening, saying that there should more events of this nature. ‘Evenings like this can encourage integration and understand between all communities and we can educate one another on our differences and similarities,’ continued Ms. Dagogo-jack. Among the many highlights of at last week’s Youth Cultural Evening, was a performance of Lajkonik and the Giddha by members of the Polish and Indian communities respectively. Lajkonik is a Polish legend that dates back to the 13th century and relates to the defeat of the Mongol, Tatar Khan, in Krakow, Poland, although some of the Polish in attendance argued it was a pre-Christian tradition! Regardless of its origins, Lajkonik is a man dressed in a red coat, with pointed had on a make shift horse that parades around the streets of Krakow and, in this case Lava Javas, on special occasions. Not to be outdone, members of the Indian Community took to the dance floor to perform their version of the famous Punjabi folk dance, the giddha, while a Malaysian duo thrilled the masses with one of their traditional dance routines. The memorable evening was rounded off with a set from the Limerick city branch of Comhaltas Ceoltoirí Éireann, who brought some traditional Irish music to the evening. Away from the dance-floor, guests sampled some of the diverse mix of food on display, including some Romanian and Polish treats and Limerick’s famous Packet & Tripe. Among the many guests in attendance, was Cllr. Tomás Hannon, Limerick County Council, who congratulated Limerick Youth Service and the many participants on an ‘enjoyable evening.’ ‘It’s great to see the different communities coming together in such a fitting space,’ said Cllr. Hannon adding that it ‘would be ideal if it (the Youth Café) were replicated across the city and county.’ Reflecting on the evening, Shay Moloney, Youth Diversity Officer, Limerick Youth Service, thanked all for their contribution in making the event a great success. ‘The aim of the evening was to bring Limerick’s diverse communities together, to share aspects of their culture, while at the same time experiencing the uniqueness of Lava Javas,’ said Mr. Maloney. ‘It was great to see so many people and performers from our different communities enjoying themselves and sharing their stories and culture. It is something, that we will look to do again in the near future,’ added Mr. Moloney.
Three Limerick students recently addressed an in-house training seminar of SPHE and Religious Studies teachers on the teaching of sexual education at Marshall House, Dooradoyle, Limerick. The trio, Clancy McCarthy, Matthew Maloney and Robert Laffan, are members of Limerick County Comhairle na nÓg who, along with their colleagues in the Youth Council, researched the sexual education curriculum in post-primary schools. ‘One of the findings of our research, was that some students and indeed teachers can feel embarrassed discussing the subject,’ said Robert Laffan, Scoil na Tríonóide Naofa, Doon, Co. Limerick. ‘Our feedback showed, that the amount of class time spent on the teaching of sexual education varied from school to school and teacher to teacher,’ continued Mr. Laffan, Pallasgreen, Co. Limerick. ‘Our research also showed young people rely on friends and the media for information about sexual wellbeing, with their first introduction in school often coming in science class,’ said Clancy McCarthy, Colaiste na Trocaire, Rathkeale, Co. Limerick. As part of their project, the Comhairle members also ran a ‘Let’s Talk About Sex’campaign, that saw the distribution of wristbands in some second level schools, to encourage young people and staff to engage in conversations about their sexual wellbeing. Brian Murray, Regional Manager, SPHE (Social Personnel and Health Education), was full of praise for the students, saying he found their presentation ‘excellent and very mature.’ ‘They were well able to get their points across, which was all the more impressive given they were addressing teachers,’ said Mr. Murray. When asked if there was a taboo around the teaching of sexual education, Mr. Murray said that some teachers are ‘afraid.’ ‘They are often afraid of what age is appropriate, the ethos of the school is and what parents may think,’ said Mr. Murray, adding that ‘we are working on improving that (situation).’ ‘We now have an excellent syllabus in place, that deals with sexual education and we just need to support and train teachers in the delivery of this,’ continued Mr. Murray. Claire Donaldson, Co-ordinator, Limerick County Comhairle na nÓg congratulated the young people on their presentation and thanked the teachers for taking the time to engage with the students. Looking to the future, Ms. Donaldson explained that Comharile na nÓg will ‘distribute the questionnaire to all schools across Limerick city and county.’ ‘The Comhairle members will then distribute the results to the respective educational bodies,’ said Ms. Donaldson, who again paid tribute to the work of the Comhairle.
We would like to congratulate the volunteers who completed our three week Volunteer Induction Training programme at The Factory: Southside Youth Space this week. The programme equips volunteers with some of the skills required to work with young people, focusing on issues such as team building and breaking down barriers. The class also discussed the array of activities that are available to young people in their respective clubs or projects. Presenting the volunteers with their Certificate of Achievement, Eoin O’Meara-Daly, Limerick Youth Service, thanked all in attendance for their commitment to the programme. ‘The volunteers will now be placed in many of our diverse range of youth clubs and projects,’ explained Mr. O’Meara-Daly. ‘Our volunteers come from many walks of life and their skills and experience will be of benefit to their respective youth club, café or project,’ continued Mr. O’Meara-Daly. With the festive period fast approaching, Limerick Youth Service will be holding its annual Christmas Fair on Thursday, December 12 at our city centre youth space, from 10am to 2pm. The Fair, one of the most popular events in the calendar, will give the public the opportunity to experience a Christmas Fair, Limerick Youth Service style!
As revealed in last week’s news, Santa Claus will be taking time out from his busy schedule to stop by the 4th Corner, Northside Youth Space on Saturday, December 7from 2pm to 4.30pm. Mr. Claus said, he will be checking out his list to see just who has been naughty and nice on the northside. ‘Rudolf and I, simply can’t wait to meet the wonderful boys and girls of Limerick at the Northside Youth Café,’ said Mr. Claus, adding it was ‘his favourite Youth Café in town!’ Sadly, Father Christmas will have to leave his elves at home, but in Kate O’Driscoll, Stacey Lyons, Gordon Brown and co, Mr. Claus will have plenty of support on the day. ‘I simply couldn’t allow the elves the time off,’ stated Mr. Claus, adding with a wry smile and a ho ho ho ‘we’ve no unions in Lapland!’ Regardless of pending industrial disputes in the North Pole, Santa Claus will be at the Northside Youth Café and for €5 you will get a present from St. Nic and your photo taken with the Papa Noel. Santa Claus’s visit to Limerick was organised by young people with YouthBank, who are using this event as one of their primary fundraisers. YouthBank is a personal development programme, that builds young people’s self-esteem and confidence and provide them with an opportunity to learn new skills in leadership, team-work, decision-making, problem-solving, communication, negotiation, report-writing, presentation skills, event management, interview skills and more.
In keeping with the Christmas theme, preparations are underway in Newcasltewest Youth Club, as they prepare to host this year’s Christmas Youth Disco. The disco, one of the most popular on the calendar, will take place at the Community Hall, Newcastlewest, on Friday, December 14 from 7.30pm to 11pm. Staying out west, Abbeyfeale Youth Club will host a Band Night on Friday, December 6 with local youth band, No Direction among acts entertaining the masses. The music starts at 7.30pm and finishes at 10.30pm and, with the occasional festive tune thrown in, it promises to get young people and volunteers in the yuletide spirit. For more information on both events please contact Joe Walsh email@example.com or at 083 3718 793.
ST. NESSAN’S COMMUNITY COLLEGE NEWS: Recently, several of our students went to the Absolute Hotel for the Limerick Comhairle na Nog(Youth Council). Representing St. Nessan’s were Evan Kelly, Jack Walters, Jason Hannon , Kevin Hanley, Jonathan Roche, Aaron Buckley, Shane Dundon, Jamie O’ Connell, Nicole Ryan, Conor Hannon, Cian O’ Donnell, Kiera Roche, Amy Hayes and Darragh Hogan. We listened to speeches by people from the Comhairle in Limerick. We were put into groups and put into different rooms to discuss ideas for a new youth facility in Limerick. We got a lovely lunch and then each group presented their ideas to the others. At the end of the day, there was a show with music and comedy. Everyone enjoyed the day and it was good to meet people from other schools.
Some of our budding young artists were recently selected to take part in an exhibition at the Hunt Museum. The exhibition included works by secondary students from Laurel Hill School, Castletroy College, Ard Scoil Ris, St Augustines School and of course St Nessan’s Community College. The exhibition’s aim was to raise awareness of positive mental health. It was held in conjunction with Limerick Mental Health Association. The paintings were very well received and admired by many who visited the exhibition. The works are at present hanging in the art room window. The students wanted to raise awareness and show support for such a great cause that offers help, support & counselling. Pieta House, is a centre for the prevention of self-harm or suicide.
MOYROSS TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY AND CHRISTMAS MARKET: Moyross Community Enterprise Centre Ltd will hold their annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony and Christmas Market on Thursday, December 5 from 3pm with Santa arriving at 3.15pm. Come and join us for carols, tea & mince pies and lots of family fun!