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Educational development for inner city children and youths.
Start date: 01 Aug 2016, End date: 31 Dec 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Context / Background: The vision of the project is based around the work of the host - the Solas Project. This is to see communities rejuvenated through education and sport. We achieve this by equipping and building up young people to overcome all limitations imposed on them by social and educational disadvantage. Many of the kids here would be at risk of involvement in crime and anti-social behaviour, and so the aim is to provide them with a focus, a source of physical challenge and encouragement, and a place of safety amongst people who can provide them with positive examples.Solas Project began as a small after school club and over the past 5 years has developed into much more, reaching out to larger groups in the community. The project now plans to build on two previous sucessfull years of hosting EVS volunteers in the area. We have seen the impact these volunteers have had on the community, the children in the programme and also the impact their time in Ireland has had on their individual lives. The work the volunteers will be engaged in focuses on the development of community life in an area of Dublin which has a very poor social history and where many families struggle financially. There are many issues faced by the children in this area, but through this project they are encouraged, educated, provided nutritious meals and their sense of belonging and self esteem is increased dramatically. Objectives:The objectives of the project are to encourage and develop the individual volunteers as they join the existing staff team in providing support, education, nutrition and care for the children and teenagers of the Liberties area of Dublin city. The aim is to provide an inspiring place where volunteers and the local community can learn from each other, inspire each other and assist each other in areas of future development. We aim to bring great benefit to the volunteers through an exciting programme to equip them with a range of knowledge and skills that will benefit them in further learning or employment. Many of the skills they will develop whilst with us will be transferable to their chosen professions in the future. Spending time here will also help to increase their self confidence, independence and will increase their ability to tackle challenges of life. Volunteers: We have recruited a total of 3 volunteers, two male and one female. They all have an interest and passion to work within community development, youth work and education. They will need to be flexible in their work and willing to try new skills. Description of activities:Volunteers will assist in the following areas: The Club: After School Programme. Tasks will include preparing and serving meals and snacks, assisting children with their homework, preparing and running various activities (including sports, arts/crafts, baking, games etc.), assisting in organising trips and outings.Y Not: College awareness programme whose aim is to assist children in their final year of primary school inspiring them about the possibility of attending college by running a classroom session with interactive discussion on ‘why go to college’ as well as bringing them on a guided tour of a college campus in the hope that this will assist in breaking down any preconceived barriers in attending third level education. Step Up: Secondary School Mentoring Programme – providing general support or working one on one with a student. This focused support allows young people to work on subjects they may be struggling with as well as helping them to develop organisational and study skills and work on their own personal development.Sports: Primary School Programme - preparing and implementing a tag rugby programme in eight local primary schools to include coaching the basics of rugby and teaching the “life lesson” for each session – preparing blitz at end of programme for each participating school. Methodology to be used in carrying out the project:Working with sending organisations we will identify and then support young adult volunteers during their placements. The placements will be run by Solas based on a successful and effective programme that has been working for the past 6 years. Description of the results and impact envisaged:The project will have a significant impact as participants develop transferable skills that will benefit them in their work in Ireland but also in further education / professions. They will help to promote and share cultural awareness. The work the participants deliver will ensure increase participation and well-being as well as preparing children to be global citizens in the world around them. The longer term benefits for the community include the increased awareness of opportunities available to individuals within Europe, a better understanding of the cultural common ground that exists between our countries & many lifelong friendships that will be formed as a result.
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