The North Inner City of Dublin is an area with significant social and economic disadvantage and some of the highest levels of deprivation in the city. To address these challenges, the area has historically benefited from a high level of community development, involving both local organisations and public authorities. The dense fabric of community and voluntary organisations is structured into the Inner City Organisations Network (ICON), which represents 65 local organisations. Over the last 20 years, the area has experienced significant changes with the arrival of immigrant communities and the development of private home ownership, exposing communities to the recent difficulties in the housing market. To better engage with one of the areas most vulnerable groups, young people at risk, ICON highlighted the need for improved coordination between state and voluntary services. This led to the creation of YPAR (Young People At Risk Initiative) in 2000, Comprising governmental and non-governmental and community-based organisations with the aim to integrate the various services to avoid overlaps and increase the effectiveness and impact of youth and community empowerment. YPAR targets support to young people at risk.
The North East Inner City became a YEPP Local Site in 2004 with YPAR acting as local partner.
Joining The YEPP Community Network was seen as an opportunity to become part of a transnational network, to learn and share experiences from the European partners, to exchange experiences with like-minded people across Europe, and to give local young people a chance to travel and broaden their horizons.
Combining the focus of effective interagency cooperation that exists within YPAR with emphasis on youth participation that is the “YEPP” approach and methodology into more organic and non-formal structures has been a constant challenge over the years. These different yet compatible approaches have generated dynamic tensions that have influenced the history and development of both organisations. For YPAR, being part of The YEPP Community has helped strengthen the participation of young people in efforts to integrate and improve community services.
YPAR is working to deliver better integrated services to produce improved quality of life outcomes for young people at risk and their families.
Over the years, YPAR has developed a number of community projects with young people. Following Youth Bank training, the North East Inner City Youth Bank was established by a committee of eight young people. They awarded grants to projects such as the development of a youth garden, a local youth leadership programme and a series of development awareness workshops based on a field trip to Zambia. YPAR’s Foreign National Working Group, which meets every month, has supported a number of actions by up to 150 foreign national young people in the area, including the publication of a drugs awareness leaflet in seven different languages. These young people have also had a chance to hold a meeting with Garda, the local police, to tackle racist bullying in the area.
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Institut für Community Education
YEPP International Resource Centre