The YAP Ireland national citizenship event titled ‘I am a Citizen’ held on 23rd October in the Croke Park conference centre was a great success. We heard the views of young people and families from across Ireland on what it means to them to be a Citizen. The topics explored on the day included – community engagement, inter generational co-operation and giving back. 

Our staff, young people and parents’ participation groups worked very hard preparing for the event.  Each participation group presented their project with confidence and enthusiasm. Their contributions ensured the day was a great success.

We were delighted that the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald T.D., could attend and address the event. The Young People were very excited to meet her and later the Cork YAP Participation group presented the Minister with a YAP Passport, the passport is a symbol of the Minister being included as a citizen of the YAP Community.

The views and opinions gathered will be compiled into a report with recommendations on how young people and families who often feel excluded can really take ownership as citizens of Ireland.

During the event in Croke Park, YAP launched the exciting new initiative called ‘Friends of YAP’.  This will be a network of people who have completed the YAP programme and want to stay in touch.  On completing the YAP programme, young people will be asked if they would like to remain in contact and if so, can sign up to be part of the network.  As members of this group, people can contribute to a range of events which take place in YAP and can help to inform us on programmes, events and policy discussions relevant to young people and families. 

Message from Siobhan O’Dwyer, CEO YAP Ireland

‘Thanks to everyone for all the hard work that went into making yesterdays “I am A Citizen” event at Croke Park such a success.  The young people and families who attended were a credit to themselves and hopefully enjoyed the day and their contribution to it.  I know that a lot of work went into making it such a positive event and I just want to thank you all very much.  The importance of this positive experience for the young people and families and our pride in them makes it all worthwhile in the end.  It wouldn’t happen without everyone of us working together and I look forward to continuing to work with you on many more such events in the future.’