Foróige is a leading national voluntary youth organisation engaged in youth development and education. Foróige Clubs consist of young people aged between 12 to 18 years under the guidance and support of adult volunteers.
Foxford Foróige was established many years ago. Some of our members parent’s were once youth members themselves. The club continues to grow from strength to strength. It currently boasts over 100 members, many of whom hail from our village in Straide. The adult volunteer leaders are also well represented, with a large proportion of them also residing in Straide.
Due to the large volume of participants, it is necessary to have two clubs, junior and senior running and working closely together. Each club has a youth committee, the members were elected by their peers and attended a training day enabling them to undertake their new roles. The committees meet regularly and with the help and guidance from their leaders have ran and organised their own events. This enables the young people to involve themselves consciously and actively in their own development and in the development of society. Foróige gives young people the opportunity to build up their individual and team skills through their interaction with members, leaders, and their community.
Community is at the heart of Foxford Foróige and we are looking forward to entering the Aldi Foróige Youth Citizenship Awards in the new term. The Award is designed to give national recognition to the huge contribution that young people make in their communities and gives them a chance to showcase the work they have undertaken. 2018/19 was an outstanding year with Foxford Foróige with many of the events making a positive difference to our community.
The St. Vincent De Paul Food Appeal and the Christmas shoe box appeal have become annual charity events that our young people are enthusiastic to make contributions to. A new experience this year, was the involvement in the “clean it up Foxford campaign” our members were out in force picking up litter in various locations. The sheer volume of rubbish collected sparked an interest in caring for our environment, the overuse of plastic in our society and the need for change. It was no surprise that when an Easter Parade was organised in the town that our members entered with environmental issues as their chosen theme. Weeks of planning and preparation followed, with the members making banners and paraphernalia. Their hard work paid off, they raised awareness and won first prize in the parade.
In November our club hosted a “Spot the Intro Music Quiz” which was voluntarily hosted by our local Straide DJ. Neighbouring club Knockmore were invited and it was a popular, fun filled event whilst being a successful fundraiser for a local charity very close to Straide hearts.
“The Big Hello!” was the first National Community Weekend held on the May Bank Holiday Weekend. It’s purpose being to support communities to host events in their local area in order to strengthen community ties and help tackle the problem of social isolation. Our members decided a street party would be a great event to host and we availed of the relevant funding available. Invitations went out to all local Clubs, Groups, Organisations, Businesses and the wider Public to join us for a very special cross-generational event in our local Community. Luckily the weather was on our side. The Street was decorated with bunting, tables and chairs were laid out on the road, which was closed to traffic. Tea, coffee and cakes were served free of charge for all while our club members entertained the children with bubbles and street art.
Meeting new friends and socialising with other clubs is an important aspect of Foróige. We have travelled to many discos, our third year members enjoyed a Junior Cert Ball and our Transition Year members attended a Member’s Banquet. We joined Knock Foróige and their community for a moonlight walk, raising money and awareness for mental health.
The highlight of the year for many of our members is Hype Youthfest in Longford and Band on the Strand in Lacken, Mayo. These give teenagers a festival like experience with live bands and DJ sets, in a safe, alcohol and drug free environment where they can mix with their peers from all around Ireland.
The Foróige Leadership for Life programme is made up of three modules, these aim to develop and expand leadership skills and empower young people to make a positive difference to their community. The modules are completed through practical projects, group work and individual reflection in a fun and encouraging environment. The course is accredited by NUIG Galway and a certificate is awarded on completion. We are proud that some of our senior members, including members from Straide have commenced this worthwhile training.
Straide native, Andy Neary is the Regional Youth Officer with Foróige and he has been a great support to us. He will facilitate the training of a new team of leaders in September when a new group of first years join our ever growing club.