Six students from Youthreach Mahon took part in a week long Youth in Action youth exchange in Birmingham. The six were joined by six young people from Holland, six from Estonia and six from Birmingham.
The six set off not knowing any of the other participants and little about their customs and traditions. They came home with more of an understanding of what it means to be European and with new found friends. They took part in various activities and workshops throughout the week. Cork UCC student of Youth and Community Work, Pat Barry, accompanied a staff member of Youthreach on the trip and he spearheaded all of the physical activities. He has been in Youthreach on student placement throughout the last two years and while he was a volunteer on this trip the young people know and trust him. Presentations were made to him by the six on the final night. He now sports a t-shirt with ‘Volunteer of the Year’ on it. “ We just love Pat” said Izze Geany on the night.
All of the participants in the exchange were awarded a Youthpass. This is the E.U. recognition of non-formal learning in the youth field. The six took part in Netherton Park community day while in Birmingham and Ronan Bennett introduced many people there to the joys of hurling. Ciaran Power was an enthusiastic participant in a Dutch cake-eating game. During the week Izze Geaney, Amy Cross, Aoife O’Carroll were busy making friends. Amy and Aoife even went as far as sharing hair dye with new pals! James Kiely enjoyed himself and kept the students back inn Mahon up to date via his Facebook page. The group created a new Facebook group and they intend to stay in touch.
Youthreach students are now on their well-deserved holidays but will be back to their studies again at the end of August.