Nine teenagers from Waterford gathered in Kildare today to begin a week-long conference on crucial life skills.
The nine from Waterford are part of a larger group of 250 teenagers from around the world who are also participating in the event.
The Foróige Leadership for Life Youth Conference hopes to teach the teenagers life skills such as empathy, decision making, communication, critical thinking, and team work.
"Young people are playing a greater role than ever before in highlighting the issues that really matter and youth activism and community action are central pillars of our Leadership programme. I’m always in awe of what young people can achieve when given the opportunity,” Seán Campbell, CEO of Foróige, said.
The event is being held on the grounds of NUI Maynooth and brings young people from Ukraine, Bosnia, Botswana, the USA, Nigeria, South Africa, and Ireland together.
As well as life skills, the teenagers will learn how to become leaders in their own lives.
Delegates attending have been nominated by youth workers and volunteer leaders from their own countries because they have demonstrated an innate sense of justice, determination, passion, and ability to lead and make positive changes in their own communities.
They will be meeting inspirational speakers throughout the week. Those involved include Yemi Adenuga, the first black woman to be elected as a public representative in Ireland, Professor Mark Brennan, the UNESCO Chair for Rural Community, Leadership and Youth Development at Pennsylvania State University, and Jordan Lee, a professional high jump athlete on the Irish Paralympic team.
The Foróige Leadership for Life Programme was developed in Ireland in 2009 and is open to young adults aged 15-18.
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