FOUR INSPIRING YOUNG adults will head to a leadership camp in Canada as part of a positive new Irish youth programme.
SOAR, an organisation co-founded by former Clare hurling star Tony Griffin and Karl Swan, was formally launched by the Canadian ambassador to Ireland, Loyola Hearn, and the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Andrew Montague, yesterday evening.
The foundation aims to introduce programmes to promote self-confidence and leadership skills in young people. The programmes are already beginning to roll out in selected primary and secondary schools around the country. In addition, four young people will be selected to travel to a leadership camp in Canada this summer. Two of these, Claude McManus, 15, from Blanchardstown, Dublin and Eimhear Lynch, 16, from Killaloe, Co Clare, attended last night’s launch ahead of their exciting adventure.
The SOAR organisation was inspired by the late Jim Stynes’s charity REACH in Australia. As Griffin himself wrote in TheJournal.ie when Stynes passed away last March, Stynes had founded REACH “to create spaces where young people could begin to fulfill their inherent brilliance”.
Last night, Griffin said:
It is especially vital in this time of economic uncertainty and social turbulence that we as a society support and encourage the next generation, the leaders of tomorrow. It is our responsibility to equip these young people with the life skills and confidence that are integral to setting goals, achieving greatness and, most importantly, believing in themselves and their right to have a dream.
SOAR has been shortlisted for this year’s Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Awards – the awards recognise young organisations with innovative ideas to bring about major social change in Ireland.