Tuesday the 25th March saw two organisations dedicated to working with young people in Kerry join forces to look at new and creative ways of partnering for young people. By contributing to the personal and intellectual development and the progression of our young people the Institute of Technology, Tralee (ITT) and Kerry Diocesan Youth Service (KDYS) will help support our future leaders. The benefit of investing in our young people is crucial to ensure economic, social and cultural development in communities across the region.
The KDYS is the leading youth work organisation in Kerry since 1971. Over the years KDYS has introduced a range of youth programmes through which the KDYS and the ITT have worked together to look at the needs of young people. The Memorandum of understanding will lay the path to increasing and formalising those collaborations.
Tim O Donoghue of the KDYS said “The KDYS organisation is very proud to be made up of many dedicated youth workers and volunteer youth leaders who have been recognised for their pioneering and expert approach to youth work both locally and nationally. The MOU agreement is designed to formally oversee that our expertise, together with the extensive range of expertise within ITT, will ensure that communities and young people in the South West will benefit from new innovations now and into the future. Both KDYS and ITT plan our initiatives on the needs of our communities throughout County Kerry and beyond and this partnership will strive to ensure that this approach will lead to greater opportunities for young people and adults alike”.
Dr Oliver Murphy, President of the IT, Tralee said “The Institute and KDYS have enjoyed a strong working relationship over many years. This Memorandum of Understanding will see both organisations further enhance this relationship as we work jointly on a number of projects. These projects will contribute to the creation of a more inclusive and effective Learning Society in Kerry and the betterment of the communities which we serve. Together we will work towards supporting the youth of our county and the communities in which they live encouraging them to achieve their maximum potential”.
The key note address was given by Khadija Hassan, an inspiring young woman and a second-year Business Studies student in the ITT, who has had direct experience of being supported by both the KDYS and the ITT. Khadija’s told her story of how she fled civil war in Somali, going first to Uganda before being reunited with her family in Ireland in 2010. She was keen to resume her education “I needed at least a leaving certificate equivalent to join PLC. I was 17 years of age and going back to first year in secondary school at that age was not a wise idea. I was stranded until one of my brother’s friend recommended KDYS Mentor Project to me and my brother”
The KDYS Mentor Project supported Khadija and her brother to ensure that they accessed the right options to support their progression, including in Khadija’s case, benefiting from the strong links between the KDYS and ITT as she also told of how the ITT worked with her skills to ensure she was placed in the right year “I got 12 distinctions in my FETAC course and I was accepted into IT Tralee to do Higher Certificate in Business and the fact that I had done extremely well, I was given a chance to go straight into year two without having to go to first year”. The KDYS mentor project is based in Tralee and works very closely with the ITT to provide a pathway of education for young people. This is one of the areas that currently see both organisations work together in the interest of young people. The MOU will now allow for both organisations to investigate new ways of working together.