Wisdom of Life

2011 Exchanges

Strengthening Our European Links

In 2011, 55 young people were involved in youth exchanges around Europe. Ballyfermot Youth Service has worked on consolidating and strengthening the links with our European partners throughout the year which has lead rise to opportunities for more exchanges to take place in 2012.

The European Programme has now become a more intricate part of our youth work programme, providing better outputs and outcomes then ever before. Staff have seen youths develop through the non-formal and experimental learning format of the programmes, taking them away from their normal environment into totally new and exciting cultures and environments.

Another key strength of the Youth in Action Programmes that we have observed is the Youth Pass. This element provides youth with the recognition they deserve for their participation in such projects.

Youth In Action Projects 2011

Plombaires, BELGIUM

Date: 3rd-8th March 2011
Theme: Drug Awareness
Youth Leaders: Paula Moore & Gerry Mc Carthy
Countries Involved: Ireland, Belgium & Italy Youth

Youth Feedback: “Youth expressed how they were overwhelmed with the relationships that were built and how it felt to be apart of a very powerful message against drugs. They  also noted how they got to experience new cultures,foods, languages andways of life”.


Date: 20th April-1st May 2011
Theme: Eco Waves (ecological understanding of the environment on local and national levels)
Youth Leader: Emma Fitzsimons
Countries Involved: Ireland, Valencia, Czech Republic, & Greece.

Youth Feedback: “Along with meeting people from new cultures and countries, we engaged in activities that demonstrated to us how other countries survive on solar energy, it really showed how inefficient Irelands energy systems are and the changes we need to make”.

Kecskemét Camp, HUNGARY

Date: Sunday 3rd – 17th July 2011
Theme: ‘Points of View’
Youth Leaders: Bryan Perry & Natalie Mc Kee
Countries Involved: Ireland, Hungary, Estonia, Italy & Poland

Youth Feedback: “It was an experience of a lifetime”, “I made lots of new friends”, “I learned so much about other cultures and countries”.

Égervölgye, HUNGARY

Date: 16th-24th June 2011
Theme: Olympics” to include sport and healthy lifestyle
Youth leader: Kevin Dolan
Countries Involved: Ireland, Hungary, Bulgaria & Slovakia

Youth Feedback: “The young people had a fantastic time, some saying it the best time of their lives and they really looked forward to meeting the other groups again. The whole group have kept up the contact, not only with their peers but the leaders from the other countries also. The group have all expressed the interest to visit more  countries through the European Exchange arrangement”.

Puumala, FINLAND

Date: 7th-13th August 2011
Theme: Small steps toward voluntary work
Youth leaders: Gerry Mc Carthy & Aimee Harding
Countries Involved: Ireland, Finland, Malta & Italy

Youth Feedback: “I got to experience new cultures and see the effect that volunteering can have within a community”,  “I made so many new friendsand learned new  languages”,  “It was great mixing with so many people from different countries and cultures”

Plombières, BELGIUM

Date: 6th-13th August 2011
Theme: Sports and Culture
Leaders: Ger O Reilly & Tanya Conroy
Countries Involved: Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg & Belgium

Youth Feedback: “We went as friends and came back as a family”, “We miss all our new friends so much”, “Great week, feels weird to have breakfast without 30 people in the room”

Youth Participants

Shawn O’Brien, Lorna O’Brien, Conor Sommers, Aaron Cassidy, Kevin Byrne, Amanda French, Shauna Kelly, Robyn Doyle, Orla O’Donnell, Amy  O’Callaghan, Aaron Murphy, Jamie Murphy, Aaron Monks, David Gonzales, Aaron Mc Garry, Kevin Malone, Scott Cashin, Ryan Foley, Jessica Curley, Rebecca Fortune, Amy Byrne, Dylan Kavanagh, Natalie Mc Kee, Mark Byrne, Leigh O Reilly, Lee Reilly, Jamie Westwood, James Gonzales, Mark Doyle, Gerard Callaghan, Dylan Behan, Stacey Cullen, Ciara Smallhorne, Ryan Belmont, Owen Tyrell, Jason Callahan, Gavin Mc Cardle, Ciara Gaffney, Emma Quirke and Katie Barry.

Peer Education

By means of appropriate training and support, the Peer Education & Drug Awareness Programme aims to empower young people to work with other young people.

This draws on the positive strength of the peer group and allows the young people to become active players in the educational process.

Click to find out more information

For further information contact:
Paula Moore on 085 733 9110

Information Centres

BYS Information Centre
We are the first point of contact for many young people seeking information on a variety of issues.

We provide a free, confidential drop-in facility & free internet service with late night openings, 5 days a week.

Click to find out more information

For further information contact:
Jodie Byrne on 01 623 7401

Oakwood Centre

BYS Information Centre
The Oakwood Residential Centre is based in Wicklow and is used throughout the year for programmes.

Oakwood's location is ideal for many activities & has many natural amenities such as lakes, forests, walking trails, kayaking activities and mountain biking trails.

For further information contact:
Jodie Byrne on 01 623 7401