The group from Mayo attending Foróige's Leadership for Life conference in Maynooth this week.

Ten young people from Mayo attend international Foróige youth leadership conference

Ten young people from Mayo joined 250 teenagers from India, the USA and all over Ireland in Kildare this week for Foróige’s Leadership for Life conference.

The conference, which was launched on Monday morning last (July 29) on the grounds of NUI Maynooth, brings together teenagers aged from 15 to 18 to learn how to become leaders in their own lives.

During the week-long conference they learn crucial life skills such as empathy, decision making, communication skills, critical thinking and team-work.

Seán Campbell, CEO of Foróige, said: “The Leadership for Life programme enables young people to develop the skills, inspiration, vision, confidence and action plans to be effective leaders.

“Great leadership is grounded in respect and the ability to inspire. During the week, these young leaders uncover the greatness within themselves and their own unique leadership style.

“Young people have a greater role to play now more than ever before in the issues that really matter. Youth activism and community action is a central part of our Leadership programme, and I’m both delighted and in awe of what these young people achieve when given the opportunity.”

The 250 delegates will graduate tomorrow morning (Friday) having completed various stages of the leadership programme, which was developed in Ireland in 2009.

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.

The programme includes lectures by a host of inspirational speakers, workshops on team building, critical thinking and communication skills, and peer discussions on matters of global importance.

Young people are also challenged to understand their own values and prejudices. Participants are encouraged to go beyond their own personal comfort zones and perceived capabilities to be better than they thought they could be.