Youth Work Ireland Cork

Gurranabraher to Greece! The story of an Erasmus+ Youth Exchange called Sport Co-Op.

Below is the Youth Work Ireland Cork Blog of our upcoming Youth Exchange, ‘Sport Co-Op’. We will update this frequently before, during and after the youth exchange. For more information about this youth exchange contact .

“Our first Youth Exchange was a huge success and had a positive impact on the young people involved and gave them the taste and confidence for more. As a result of the relationship that developed between our Irish and Greek young people, we have now been successful in a second application and are in the planning stages of our next exchange. “Sport Co-Op” will take place in Greece in June 2018 on the theme of ‘Cooperation through Sports and a Healthy Life’.” –  Joe Curtin, Youth Worker

What is a Youth Exchange?

Youth exchanges allow groups of young people from different countries to meet, live together and work on shared projects for short periods which take place outside of the school environment. On a youth exchange, young people can expect to participate in activities such as developmental workshops, exercises, debates, role-plays, outdoor activities and more. The countries involved in this exchange are Ireland, Greece & Estonia. This youth exchange will take place in Thessaloniki, Greece in June 2018. The project is funded by Erasmus+ through the Irish National Agency, Leargas.

What will Sport Co-Op be about?

The main theme for the exchange is Sports and how physical activity promotes a healthy life an improves mental health. This youth exchange will Promote young people’s participation and active citizenship. It will also Promote tolerance among young people and to give them an opportunity to learn from each other and to learn by doing. This in turn will give young people mutual understanding between young people in different countries. It Provides space for networking and planning common activities for the future. Finally, it improves the level of key competences and skills of young people, including those with fewer opportunities, as well as to promote participation in democratic life in Europe and to access work, active citizenship, social inclusion, solidarity. It also assists those active in youth work and strengthens links between the youth field and the labour market. 

Our Advanced Planning Visit!

As part of every Youth Exchange, youth workers have the option of organising an Advanced Planning Visit. Ours took place from the 9th to the 12th of February. Four young people and Five youth workers made their way to Thessaloniki to plan this upcoming exchange. Accommodation, flights, dates, participants and group rules where debated and discussed.  We also set up a Facebook page and Messenger Chat to continue planning.

Who gets to go on this Exchange?

Each country will bring 12 young people and 2 youth workers. Therefore 42 people will converge in Greece on the 23rd of June 2018. Participating in this youth exchange are:

Craig Sweeney – 16 – Colaiste Chriost Ri
Mark Healy – 16 – Gaelcholaiste Mhuire AG
Ben Walsh – 16 –  Gaelcholaiste Mhuire AG
Cian O’Keeffe – 16 –  Gaelcholaiste Mhuire AG
Kyile Leahy – 17 – Blackpool Training Centre
Holly Hayes – 17 – Youth Work Ireland Cork, Cork ETB Local Training Initiative (LTI) Art & Creativity
Megan Hennessy – 17 – North Presentation Secondary School
Luke Hamilton Storan – 13 – Scoil Mhuire Gan Smal
Mark Boyle – 18 –  Youth Work Ireland Cork, Cork ETB Local Training Initiative (LTI) Art & Creativity
Evan Forde – 15 –  North Monastery Secondary School
Ryan Kavanagh – 17 –  North Monastery Secondary School
Megan O’ Donovan – 17 – Blackpool Training Centre

We will hold a homecoming event when we return where the public and community can come together to see what we did an what the young people learnt. Before leaving for Greece, they young people will organise and partake in a sponsored walk to raise some extra funds for the exchange. Attending the exchange with the young people are youth workers Joe Curtin (Youth Work Ireland Cork) & Yvonne Quilligan (Cork City Partnership). Joe Curtin is a professionally qualified Youth Worker and has worked full-time with Youth Work Ireland Cork in the Gurranabraher/Churchfield area for the last 4 years. Yvonne has worked for the Cork City Partnership for 18 years in the area of youth & community and currently works as an enterprise development officer. Yvonne was involved in the set-up of her a youth café in Farranree over 7 years ago.

Our Sponsored Walk

We needed to find a way to raise some more money for transport, food and extra activities over in Greece. After consultation with the Young People, we chose to do a Sponsored walk. We where very lucky with the nice weather. Thanks to everybody who donated money towards our youth exchange. Especially the young peoples families & Gurranabraher Credit Union. It turns out there are no pictures of us actually walking, but we promise we did 😀 😀

Some more information about the organisations involved…

Youth Work Ireland Cork manages 5 projects in Cork city. These are: Special Project for Youth (SPY), Gurranabraher Arts Project (GAP), Community Drugs Project, Local Training Initiative (LTI), UP Cork LGBT Youth Project. YWIC work with over 600 young people per year in various projects which are a community based response to young people’s needs. YWIC offers them the opportunity to contribute to and participate in social education, artistic and recreational activities. Youth work Ireland Cork (YWIC) provides a community based response to young peoples’ needs by offering them an opportunity to participate in educational, social education, artistic and recreational activities. YWIC promotes and facilitates social and creative development of young people aged between 7 and 25 years, by enabling them to take an active role in their community. For more information on Youth Work Ireland Cork, please visit or check out Facebook & Twitter : @YWICork  Check out the blog below where Joe Curtin reflects on his first Erasmus+ experiences. 

From Cork to Kranj with Erasmus+ Youth Exchanges

Cork City Partnerships aim is to improve the life chances and opportunities of people who experience the effects of poverty and social exclusion through promoting equality and inclusion for all. They do this by Increasing access to services, education, employment, and recreational activities for people who are experiencing disadvantage or social exclusion, Facilitating local community groups to achieve active and effective community engagement and community participation, Working in partnership with local communities, agencies, local elected representatives and state funded bodies to build strong, healthy sustainable and equitable communities, Influencing policy by researching issues and contributing to working groups and committees on relevant policy related issues & Advocating for policies, supports and services that address gaps in relation to social exclusion. For more info on Cork City Partnership see .

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