Urdd Gobaith Cymru and Ógras to establish links between young people in Wales and Ireland

Welsh and Irish youth organisations Urdd Gobaith Cymru and Ógras are about to launch an EU-funded cross-border initiative. The aim of the project is to unite the young people of Wales and Ireland and establish a venture that will develop the relationship between Wales and Ireland’s youth organisations.

EU-funded cross-border initiative

Urdd Gobaith Cymru - Photo © Llanishen Fach Primary SchooWelsh Youth Organisation Urdd Gobaith Cymru has received an EU grant of £183,174 (€264,794.04) towards a project aimed at establishing a joint cross-border initiative, which focuses upon the cultural co-operation between youth agencies in Ireland and Wales – Ógras in Ireland and the Urdd in Wales.

The European grant has been awarded by the INTERREG programme, and the project will be formally launched over the summer 2005. Urdd Gobaith Cymru has appointed a Development Officer to run the project. Nia Meleri Roberts will start in her new post directly after the Eisteddfod. Simon Baily has been appointed to a similar role within Ógras.

The objective of the project will be to foster links between Ógras and the Urdd, and to arrange study visits where experience and good practice will be exchanged on aspects of youth work. The links will be forged on a member-to-member level, volunteer-to-volunteer level, and staff-to-staff level. This will ensure the success of the project in the long term. The project further aims to encourage young people to gain skills in youth work.

Aims and Objectives of the Project

The joint aims and objectives of the project are to share good practice of two youth organizations; to increase communication between two countries by learning about each other’s cultures and traditions; to establish a long term relationship between young people from the two countries, and to increase environmental awareness among young people and adults in both organisations.

A study visit programme will be established between young people in Ireland and Wales. Each visit will be based around a series of themes based on the culture and language of Ireland and Wales respectively. There will be a focus on inclusion of young people from socially deprived areas. Young People with disabilities will also be encouraged to participate.

Efa Gruffudd Jones, Chief Executive of Urdd Gobaith Cymru says: “The Urdd has 3,000 members and Ógras has 400 members over 16 respectively and the project is targeted towards this age group. However, the long term intention is that both organisations will have identified and trained, through this project, a group of young volunteer leaders who are willing to assist with the delivery of activities, and the setting up of clubs for the younger age groups. These young people will also have made strong links with Irish counterparts, so that the Irish-Welsh relationship will continue to the future. We look forward to working with Ógras and we intend to gain the support of other youth agencies working in Wales as the scheme develops therefore fulfilling this exciting project’s objectives.”

Bendigeidfran - Bridging the Youth of Wales and Ireland

The Welsh-Irish project has been funded by the EU's INTERREG programmeUrdd Gobaith Cymru and the youth organisation Ogras in Ireland will launch a new project called Bendigeidfran. The project will arrange for twenty young people from Wales and Ireland to come together on study courses with five courses held in Ireland and five in Wales.

Nia Meleri Roberts, Bendigeidfran Project Development Officer Bendigeidfran said: “The name of the project is extremely relevant as Bendigeidfran was a character from the Mabinogi who formed a bridge between Wales and Ireland. The saying “A fo ben bid bont” (the one who’d be a leader must be a bridge) is also very relevant as the aim of the scheme is to train and encourage young people to develop new skills and take interest in youth and social work.”

The aim of the project is to unite the young people of Wales and Ireland and establish a venture that will develop the relationship between Wales and Ireland’s youth organisations. Efa Gruffudd Jones, Urdd Gobaith Cymru Chief Executive said: “We hope that the Bendigeidfran scheme will educate the young people of Wales and Ireland about the culture and traditions of the two countries and urge them to understand and respect our languages as well as other languages. It will be a brilliant opportunity for young people to attend festivals such as the Scleip na hOige in Ireland and the Eisteddfod in Wales.

Press Release: Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Urdd Gobaith Cymru - Canolfan Mileniwm Cymru 2005 - June 2005

Do you want to know more?

» Urdd Gobaith Cymru
Founded in 1922, Urdd Gobaith Cymru is the only totally Welsh voluntary youth movement in the world.

» Ógras Éire
Ógras is the first Irish language youth organisation.

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