It is very difficult to avoid the ‘N’ word. It is written into European and UK policy, and used very widely – including by government agencies, policy makers and even youth workers. Indeed, I’ve even heard young people use the term as a noun to describe themselves. It even sounds horrible and it makes me … Continue reading We Need to Talk About the ‘N’ Word!
It is 25 years - a full generation - since the Berlin Wall came down. It was an incredible moment in the history of Europe and I remember hoping that it wouldn’t be long before our walls came down as well. As we wait to see whether the Northern Ireland political parties can deliver a … Continue reading Keep Them Up or Knock Them Down are Not The Only Options
Alex Kane is a well respected and thoughtful commentator. I enjoy his articles, blogs and tweets (@alexkane221b). However I was very disappointed by his recent Newsletter article on votes at 16. He has challenged young people in our WIMPS (Where Is My Public Servant?) project to a debate on the issue, and personally - I … Continue reading Well Alex, You Might Be Missing the Point!
This weekend in Belfast, many people will be reflecting back on what some call 'The Good Friday Agreement' - and others call 'The Belfast Agreement'. For most it was an historic moment where decades of conflict and enmity seemed to be coming to an end. For others - it was a compromise too far - … Continue reading Fifteen Years On
Twenty years ago - March 20 1993 - was an extraordinary day in my youth work career - and a day when everything started to change. If the lowest ebb is the turn of the tide, then the events of that day were part of the point where the tide turned for Northern Ireland. The … Continue reading Reflecting On a Moment of Change – Two Decades Ago
Hands from a Rodin Sculpture, Musée Rodin, Paris, Photo P.Smyth (c)I've just returned from a week in Paris - partly to initiative a new international project, but also to participate in a special UNESCO event (organised by the International Institute for Educational Planning) to encourage governments around the world to engage young people in designing … Continue reading Reflections on a Visit to Paris
I've been thinking about getting back to blogging since a half-hearted attempt a few years back. Now is the time - I've decided - as things are really getting interesting around here, and around the world of young people generally. I am the leader of a great organisation called Public Achievement - based in Belfast, … Continue reading Here Goes!