Students from Ireland and Northern Ireland are taking part in a Citizenship Workshop hosted at Nerve Centre in Derry~Londonderry this week (6-10 November), as part of the EU/UK Youth Stronger Together programme.
Media industry professionals are mentoring the Media, Journalism and Performing Arts students, from North West Regional College (NWRC), to create media content that reflects their diverse viewpoints around key issues impacting on the lives of young people living across the island of Ireland today.
Led by Nerve Centre on behalf of the British Council, and in partnership with NWRC, 15 students from Ireland and 15 students from Northern Ireland are coming together over five days to create short films that will premiere publicly at NWRC. Youth organisations from across Northern Ireland will be joining them for a networking forum on Friday 10 November.
The British Council’s EU/UK Youth Stronger Together programme offers young people aged 15–30 from the UK and across Europe opportunities to connect, cooperate, influence and implement change together on topics of common interest.
The programme aims to facilitate close and sustainable relationships between young people in the UK and the EU for Europe’s collective benefit, working with young people across schools and youth organisations as well as with young activists and journalists.
Francisca Valentim from Portugal and Gabriela Gergova from Bulgaria, young journalists who are grantees of the programme, are visiting Derry~Londonderry to report from the Citizenship Workshop.
Ciara Barnett, a Creative Media, Film and TV student at NWRC, from Donegal, Ireland, is thrilled to be taking part, saying: “Being here I feel that I get to provide a voice for the people in my generation with regards to the issues that we face on a daily basis. I’m really looking forward to learning more about the area that I live in and listening to young people, hearing about these issues, how we relate and how we can build on ideas and put them into the film that we produce. I think it’s important for us as young people to use our voice, to share our ideas and our opinions to try and better the world we live in.”
James Dalzell, a Creative Media student at NWRC, from Derry~Londonderry, added: “This is a great opportunity for gaining industry experience and developing context within the industry, as well as getting experience of working with different people, with different skill sets, and learning how they delegate and work within a team.”
John Peto, Head of Development at Nerve Centre, commented: “Nerve Centre helps young people to create, communicate and collaborate across borders and communities. The EU/UK Youth Stronger Together programme builds on this work by bringing together young people from across the island of Ireland to give voice to issues impacting them today. Our continued partnership with North West Regional College, with support from the British Council, provides young people here with valuable skills and connections to carry forward in their careers and communities.”
The EU/UK Youth Stronger Together programme is delivered by the British Council in co-operation with the European Movement International and co-funded by the European Union.
Secondary schools from across Northern Ireland are able to partner with schools across Europe on social action projects; and young journalists and activists will be invited to join workshops, training opportunities and networking events.
Speaking about the programme, Eirini Kareta, British Council EU Programme Manager, said: “It’s wonderful to see the collaborative work of young people from Ireland and Northern Ireland as part of our EU/UK Youth Stronger Together programme. Through this initiative, we are providing opportunities for connection, cooperation and collaboration between young leaders and among organisations in the youth sector across the UK and the EU, empowering young people to become agents of positive change and lead the way to the future together.”
Suzanne Rodgers, Curriculum Manager for Media at NWRC, added: “These five days are a fantastic opportunity for our students to receive mentoring from industry professionals and share perspectives on issues that matter to young people across the island of Ireland. Crucial to this project is the fact that students, who are the journalists, film makers, and performers of the future, can create content on issues that affect young people and share them through the medium of film. We look forward to the premiere at NWRC.”