Foyle Ambassadors Graduation
21 Foyle Ambassadors from Derry~Londonderry and Donegal graduated recently after completing a 10 week programme. Co-operation Ireland co-ordinated the programme with funding from the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Loughs Agency.
In the presence of their friends, family and invited guests, the Foyle Ambassadors collected their certificates, receiving accreditation for angling, powerboating, canoeing and the prestigious John Muir Discovery Award.
Speaking at the graduation, Peter Sheridan, CEO at Co-operation Ireland said “This is the second year of the very successful Foyle Ambassadors programme working in partnership with the Loughs Agency and the local community to deliver a personal development and good relations programme. This year we were delighted to add the cross-border element with participants from here in the city and Donegal.
He continued, ‘A. s a result of the programme, these young people have gained a better understanding of the river as a community resource that belongs to us all, a shared space, a dynamic uniting force that flows through the city. Strong and powerful as it is, it is also vulnerable and requires attention. Hopefully it can become a symbol of the strong bonds the young participants of this programme have developed”.
Kevin Wilson, Director of Development at Loughs Agency said “the Foyle Ambassadors programme has been a fantastic success and the feedback we have received from participants, parents and our activity providers has been overwhelmingly positive. The Ambassadors have really engaged and enjoyed taking part in the programme”.
The programme aimed to raise awareness of the natural resources and biodiversity of the River Foyle, its tributaries, estuary and the local coast. Through a range of activities including canoeing, surfing, angling, boating, clean ups, surveys and other conservation projects the young people have a new positive connection with the river.
Speaking after the event Community Engagement Officer, Rosemary McCloskey said “the Ambassadors are a bit sad that the programme has come to end but it’s really just the beginning. We’ll be launching a volunteer programme soon and many of these young people are very keen to get involved to pass on the knowledge they have gained as a result of the programme”.