The Inspire Project

The Inspire Project

Project Description

In August 2022 the Northern Ireland Youth Forum (NIYF) received an award from the Northern Ireland Office to continue with a bespoke, youth-led leadership programme aimed at young males from Unionist/Loyalist working-class communities.

The central focus of the project was to build on the success of the 2021/22 programme which engaged young males in a leadership programme which included, capacity building around civic engagement, knowledge and rights, the legacy of the past, Brexit, and the NI Protocol, in addition to heritage, history and identity.

The absence of government and increased paramilitary activity have been challenges and young people have become more and more vulnerable to exploitation from armed groups. Cost of living increases have resulted in more paramilitary lending, further controlling and entrapping communities and young people into a dark world that we have worked too hard to eradicate.

The young people who have participated in this programme are inspirational and have shown leadership skills within their communities. Their participation in a professionally delivered, high-impact, programme has resulted in increased confidence and awareness of self and others.

The group have engaged in intra in inter-community education work as well as cross-community, diversity and cultural exchanges. Young people have begun to overcome barriers, grow in confidence, experience a sense of self-worth and self-realisation resulting in increased aspirations and clear personal goal-setting for each of the participants.

This project has had a huge impact on young people and their communities. They have been a credit to work with.