Last week the Society of St Vincent de Paul Mid-West hosted the annual Young SVP Day showcasing and celebrating the work of their young volunteers, including a group of young people from Offaly.
Young SVP is a youth development programme which aims to provide opportunities for young people to engage in social action in their own communities, encouraging personal and social development. It allows students to learn new skills, develop their understanding of social justice, give back to their community and gain experience of youth-led social action.
The programme is in its third year in the Mid-West Region, and it has grown so much that there are already 32 groups from Limerick, Clare, Tipperary and Offaly taking part, with nearly 400 students attending the yearly event.
The day was a fantastic opportunity to acknowledge all the young people in our communities who selflessly give of their time and talents to help others through the Young SVP programme.
During the day, the young volunteers not only inspired each other, but also had a chance to interact with SVP volunteers and hear from a guest speaker Noel Keating on the topic of spirituality and meditation.
Each group had a stand where they interacted with others, learned and shared advice on how to plan their activities and ensure they have impact.
Young SVP has been running in Colaiste Naomh Cormac for the second year in a row. The TYs organised a table quiz at Christmas in aid of their local SVP. They also did some research that showed them the impact fashion had on the environment, and how we could all help by buying preloved items.
In their opinion, Vincent’s has fantastic clothes and is a great way of getting fashionable, and also supporting your local community and the environment.
They’re now planning a fashion show to showcase the wide range of good quality clothes one can find in their local Vincent’s shop!
Transition Year students from Gallen Community School Ferbane joined Young SVP as well in 2019. When planning their activities, they were looking for something that will be both helpful and beneficial for the community, as well as fulfilling and challenging for themselves.
They decided to reach out into the community and engage with other groups to see who could benefit from the time and talents they have, and their hope is to link in with a senior citizens group as they feel they can both learn a lot and give a lot in return.
During the day the students were also joined by SVP members who were impressed and inspired by all the work that has been done already. As the event was organised mid-year, there is still plenty of time for all groups to build on existing or work on new projects, as well as for other groups to come on board if they are interested.
For more information on the Young SVP Programme, contact Youth Development Officer – Ivana Kolic on 085 253 9696 or firstname.lastname@example.org.