Plan International Ireland increasingly works with young people and not just for young people, believing that they are a vital and largely untapped resource that can add value and legitimacy to our work.
We recognise that by not including the voices of young people in our decision making and governance structures, we are missing a huge opportunity, not only in terms of value and legitimacy but also in terms of learning from the unique perspective that young people can bring to our work.
We have a strong commitment to engaging children as part of our Child Centered Community Development (CCCD) approach.
The aim of the YAP is to engage young people as ambassadors and advisors to Plan International Ireland. Through Development Education processes, the YAP becomes empowered to represent Plan International Ireland. This could be to the public as campaigners or as decision makers to our Board of Directors. The YAP works with Plan International Ireland in the spirit of collaboration, transparency and mutual learning.
Plan International Ireland has recently established a YAP, a group of 14 young people aged 16-21 from all over Ireland. The YAP has begun to undergo a Development Education process which will increase their capacity to not only understand the complex world we live in, but also have the skills to make change through campaigns and advocacy actions.
Étáin Sweeney Keogh is an 18-year-old from Fivemilebourne, Leitrim. Having just finished her Leaving Cert in Ursuline College Sligo, she is about to start Law and Political Science in Trinity College, Dublin. Étáin founded a human rights group at her school and has developed a love for campaigning and hopes to have a career in this field. Over the last few years she has been honing the skills needed to do so, becoming an All-Ireland public speaking finalist, participating in an internship in Dáil Éireann and working on campaigns against FGM and the blood diamond trade. Étáin also has a keen interest in music. She plays guitar, piano and harp and enjoys singing and song writing too, winning the 2016 Young Songwriter’s Award. She has spent thirteen years studying ballet and modern jazz, and has a passion for the Irish language. She is very excited to be a member of Plan Ireland’s Youth Advisory Panel and looks forward to working on even more great campaigns!
Chloe Messori was born November 17th and lives in Ennis, Co. Clare. Her hobbies include art and reading. She is a Young Burren Ambassador, and an active member of the Clare Youth Theatre, and Green School’s Committee in her school. She joined Plans Youth Advisory Panel in order to make a positive change in the world.
Stephen Frain is a committed activist in the areas of human rights and development. A student of law and politics, he has past experience in development education, working for IDEA Ireland’s ‘Challenging the Crisis’ campaign. He is particularly excited to work on the Plan’s Youth Advisory Panel, because it is the first time he will campaign specifically on children’s rights. He believes this is important because “at the heart of human rights are children’s rights, and the future of the next generation depends on them!”
Megan McLoughlin is currently in the middle of her Leaving Cert programme at Coláiste Muire, Ennis. Her achievements so far to date are her presence as an active member of the Green Schools Committee, a Young Burren Ambassador, and a dynamic member of the Clare Youth Theatre. Her interests include music, current affairs, drama, and activism.
Daena Casserley Reilly is an 18 year old from Navan, Co. Meath. She attended St. Michael’s Loreto Secondary School Navan and is now currently studying Music and French in UCD. In her spare time, she loves going to concerts with her friends, watching rugby with her Dad and brother, seeing musicals with her Mam and spending time with her friends, family and dog! Her reason for getting involved with Plan were because of her dream to travel across the world, meet new people, experience new cultures and to impact the lives of others in a positive way.
Diana Oprea is 18 years old and has just finished the Leaving Cert in St. Joseph’s in Rush. She was born in Romania but currently lives in Dublin. Her three passions in life are travelling, hiking and volunteering which go hand in hand with her love for photography and blogging. The reason Diana got involved in the yap is because I am her interest in volunteering and campaigning
Anna Golden is 17 years of age and lives in Barna, Galway. She attends Salerno Secondary School and next year will be going into her Leaving Cert. This summer she is working as a windsurfing instructor at Rusheen Bay Windsurfing. When she’s not in school or windsurfing she love to play gaelic and hockey, do art and spend time with her friends.
When she was nine Anna asked Santa for a penpal in Africa and since then her family have sponsored a child with Plan. They sponsored Emmele Jere from Zambia until about 2 years ago and now sponsor Fatuma Ali Yahaya, a 14 year old girl from Kenya. She is so excited to be part of Plan’s Youth Advisory Panel and to do whatever she can to contribute to the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals).
Adam Cooper lives in Edenderry, County Offaly. He is a sixth year student in Oaklands Community College. He has a great interest in drama and acting, and performs in productions and plays regularly. He also has a great interest in film, and attends film festivals as often as he can. Adam is an executive of Offaly Comhairle na nOg, and is also a member of Jigsaw Offaly’s Youth Advisory Panel.
Adam joined the Plan YAP because of his great interest in the wellbeing and rights of children. He feels that children should have a voice in the world that they live in, especially in situations that directly affect them. He is very excited to be a part of the YAP.
Caoimhe Dowling is from Dublin and is studying Social Science in UCD. She loves reading, and has a great interest in music and art. She is very interested in youth work, and has has attended a Foróige youth club for years. She got involved in the Youth Advisory Panel because having worked with young people in Foróige, she knew how inspiring and passionate they can be, and how willing young people are to fight for our future, and to incite change. She very much wants to be a part of that change, and wishes to inspire other young people to get involved and join together for a more equal and fair future.
Nathan is from South Dublin and has just completed the Trinity Access Programme and is a past pupil of CBS Synge Street. Nathan is a youth advocate, a UNICEF youth ambassador, a member of the US embassy National Youth Council, a TEDx conference Speaker, a member of PLAN Irelands Youth Advisory Panel and accomplished public speaker. He has immersed himself in discussing and advocating on a wide range of social issues on a number of different platforms and events. He hopes to further his youth advocacy work at an international level through working with Plan Ireland.
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