Four Kilkenny students were among a group of nearly 300 young adults from across the world who attended the ‘Albert Schweitzer’s Leadership for Life’ conference last week.
Orlaith Byrne and Anne Drea (Gowran), Jade Cuddihy (Knocktopher) and Danielle Randle (Johnswell Road) secured a place for the week-long conference based on the strength of their written application supported by a nomination to attend from a youth worker or volunteer leader from the county. The conference was run by Foróige, the National Youth Development Organisation and ICCUSA Foundation Inc. (Irish Chamber of Commerce, USA) at NUI Maynooth.
The programme for the conference is based on Foróige’s youth leadership programme. Students have been learning about the importance of community service, inter-culturalism and health and well-being. The conference included lectures by leaders in the business, health and community sectors and workshops on team building, critical thinking and communication skills and peer discussions on matters of global importance.
The Kilkenny natives were chosen for their sense of justice, determination, passion and ability to lead and make positive changes in their own community. “The conference was amazing. I’ve learned so much and met teenagers from all over the world. It has really made me appreciate the many cultural differences and shared values that exist across the world,” said Orlaith Byrne.
“We need a young and energetic generation of leaders to face up to the many challenges that lie ahead,” National Council of Foróige chairwoman Mairi McMahon said at the conference launch. “We are facing difficult times globally and we must maximise on the potential of our young people and youth work as a major part of the solution. The participants in this conference are challenged to question what is right and strive to achieve better for themselves, their communities and the future of our world.”