Rotary Club of Belfast

Opportunities and Empowering Youth

Rea Redpath 21.96.21Guest speakers John Rea and William Redpath (who are the Club’s latest members) in a very well received and appreciated address to the Club Monday 21 June spoke about themselves and the links between their organisations, the Junior Chamber Belfast and YouthAction NI respectively, and the Club.

It’s all about opportunities
John Rea thanked for the opportunity to address the Club and for being invited to become a member. He pointed out that the Junior Chamber International (JCI) is a global, not-for-profit organisation for 18 to 40 year olds, run by its members of which there are 200,000 worldwide. Its raison d’etre is for members to develop leadership skills, meet like-minded people, attend business visits and networking events, participate in training, travel to international events or run a community projects. Its mission is to provide development opportunities that empower young people to create positive change. JCI’s new initiative is JCI RISE which aims, by working together, to restart economies post lockdown. He showed the video right in which members highlight their reasons for joining.

John revealed that that the first JCI Movement was founded by Henry Giessenbier Jr. when aged 18 he and 31 men joined to form the Young Men's Progressive Civic Association (YMPCA) at the Mission Inn located in their hometown of St. Louis, USA. However, JCI Belfast is also steeped in history and celebrated its 70th year in 2019; he also noted that it used to organise the Lord Mayor’s Show in Belfast. However it became dormant and John, having been a JCI member in Aberdeen, was instrumental in rekindling it on his return to Belfast in 2016. He stressed that they are looking for new members and further information can be had from him.

Empowering Youth
William Redpath, also having thanked for the opportunity to address the Club pointed out that YouthAction NI (YA) were challenged with Covid last year to move all their activities online; a new section of their website was developed – the Youth Empowered Hub which contains all the GET SET content divided into 3 sections Life Skills incorporating mental health and well-being, money & time management and personal life skills Work Skills incorporating Job applications, Interview skills, new job first impressions and career support and Business Skills incorporating developing your Idea, starting your own business, skills development and business support. He also highlighted that all their booklets and forms are now online.

He concluded by reflecting on YouthAction NI’s impact and the effect on young people from the GET SET Programme which the Club actively supports (see here).

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