Over 3,500 young people between 11 and 18 years are expected to answer a call to volunteer in their local community in the next 12 months as part of a drive to actively engage them in giving back to society.
Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr James Reilly TD, today launched The Call to serve at Government Buildings and he was joined by over 150 young people.
Organised by Localise, a youth and community development organisation, The Call is targeting 150 primary, 150 secondary schools and 150 community groups throughout Ireland in a bid to encourage young people to become involved in community outreach work.
Since its inception 40 years ago, Localise has generated the equivalent of over €40 million of community service work provided by young people.
Minister Reilly said: “Throughout Ireland a growing number of young people realise the value of giving back to their local communities. They realise it is as rewarding to give as it is to receive. This initiative by Localise to raise awareness among young people throughout the country across 300 communities of the value of helping out and getting involved in the locality is of tremendous benefit both to their own communities but also as part of their own self development and personal growth. I am confident they will answer The Call.”
Localise Director Derek Cleary said: “This is all about giving back. We find in Localise that there is great enthusiasm among young people to help out. They just need a pathway to giving back and The Call is providing the route to helping those less well off and vulnerable in our society.”
He said: “We expect to engage with 3,500 youngsters across the nation who will volunteer with homeless people, cancer charities, special needs groups, centres for the elderly, poverty agencies and community clean-ups. Local charities, voluntary and community groups will benefit and young people will learn the previous gift of giving back to society.”