The society of St. Vincent de Paul hosted their second young SVP day in Thomond Park

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Young SVP logo

The Society of St Vincent de Paul Mid-West hosted their second Young SVP Day in Thomond Park last Wednesday.

Young SVP is a youth development programme which aims to provide opportunities for young people to engage in social action in their own communities, encouraging personal and social development. It allows students to learn new skills, develop their understanding of social justice, give back to their community and gain experience of youth led social action.

The programmed was first introduced in the Region last school year, and it has already doubled in size with more than 800 students  taking part.

During the day the young volunteers learned and shared advice on how to plan their activities and ensure they have impact.

Each group had a stand where they interacted with others, and some groups were also asked to present one of their projects on stage, to share tips and tricks with others who might never have done such a
project.

There were six groups representing Limerick City and County

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Young people from Limerick Youth Service Southside organised a fabulous tea and coffee morning for Valentine’s day which raised awareness and funds for SVP.

They also visited the SVP Order Fulfilment Centre this year, and picked out some outfits from Vincent’s shops to showcase during Young SVP day.

Limerick Youth Service Mental Health Youth Advisory Panel organised a research and action project, where they learned more about issues faced by young people experiencing homelessness, and based on that are running a campaign. During the Young SVP day, they
also presented on stage and gave practical tips on planning such projects to other groups.

Ladies from Laurel Hill Colaiste FCJ researched additional difficulties faced by women experiencing homelessness, went into various classes in their school to raise awareness and teach about the subject. The girls girls also held a donation drive for homeless women which was of immense help to services provided by SVP in Limerick City. They are planning another campaign after Easter.

The students from Villiers school raised awareness of mental health issues, as well as support services available through their semicolon ( ; ) project. They also supported students and staff in their school by organising random act of kindness, human rights days, bake sales and thoughts of the week. They also decided to raise awareness of issues faced by mothers and children in other countries who have to walk for miles to reach nearest water source, so they themselves organised a Walk 4 Water.

Salesian Secondary College from Pallaskenry continued strong this year, with more members joining their conference. They organised a donation drive at Christmas to support local families with food and presents. They also organised a bake sale and the proceeds of that
were donated to the local senior citizens group. The students were asked to share their experience and explain how they run their group and plan their projects, so they made a movie which they played during the Young SVP day.

Crescent College Comprehensive have been running a Fast Friends project with the Brothers of Charity since the beginning of the school year. They also organised several fundraisers in
aid of their local SVP. In order to raise awareness of homelessness in our community, some of the students also organised a sleep-out in December.

For more information on the Young SVP Programme, please contact our Youth Development Officer – Ivana Kolic on 085 253 9696 or [email protected]

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