Thursday, 4 May 2023
Over 150 young people from across Donegal and the north west attended the Youthopia Future Fair in Oakfield Park in Raphoe on Thursday last (27th April).
YOUTHopia is an EU funded project led by the Assembly of European Regions in partnership with Donegal County Council. The YOUTHopia project aims to make sure that young people across Europe understand and are aware of EU Cohesion Policy and seize the opportunities it offers.
The impact of Cohesion Policy on young people in Europe was the focus of the YOUTHopia Future Fair 2023. Cathaoirleach Liam Blaney welcomed Micheal O’Heanaigh, the Assembly of European Regions Vice President for Youth, Culture & Tourism to the event who touched on Cohesion Policy impacts.
YOUTHopia Future Fair highlighted the unique opportunities and challenges that young people face, topics which all the keynote speakers touched upon. The speakers included one of Europe’s youngest serial entrepreneurs, Jordan Casey who spoke about youth entrepreneurship and his journey growing his own tech business.
Carmel Irandoust, the founder of NETOVE spoke about being an advocate for Diversity, Equality, Inclusion, Justice and Peace. Local youth entrepreneur from Letterkenny, Sab Medlar from SourcedBySab also talked about her journey in setting up her own business in Donegal. Youth Climate Ambassador Taidhg Trocme provided an insightful and thought-provoking talk on climate change.
This one day event had an action packed agenda allowing the participants to take part in interactive workshops focused on topics including career pathways, skills for the future, innovative project design and creating a professional LinkedIn profile and CV. Donegal Youth Council MC Erin Gallagher and friends were on hand to keep the event running smoothly.
YOUTHopia was held in partnership with the North West Tertiary Education Cluster comprised of the ATU, Donegal ETB, the North West Regional College and Ulster University. JoAnne Kilmartin from the NWTEC said “with 2023 being the EU Year of Skills, the North West Tertiary Education cluster was delighted to co-host the YOUTHopia event providing an opportunity for young people in the region to learn first-hand about the future of work and skills and the pathways available from all four educational providers in the North West City Region”
The young people in attendance also got to experience fun activities provided by Donegal Sports Partnerships “Lets Play Donegal!” initiative and enjoyed an amazing freestyle football demonstration and tutorial by 4-time and current Irish Freestyle Football Champion, Conor Reynolds!
A brilliant event that can be summed up by Nelson Mandela’s quote “Youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow”.