Hey Clara! You mentioned to us when you joined as an ambassador that you were a part of EYP. Could you tell us a little about who EYP is and how our followers can get involved?
It’s funny how one decision I made on a whim when I was 15, turned out to have such a positive impact on my life. One day, my TY Coordinator made some mention of some event happening in Mayo that was all about making friends and learning new skills in the process. That event was a regional session of the European Youth Parliament Ireland (EYP). I had no idea what EYP was all about, but I thought I’d go for the weekend and find out. That was over five years ago now, and I credit that decision with helping me find many of my friends today and shaping me into the person that I am.
European Youth Parliament Ireland brings together students from each region of Ireland to regional events, where various European issues are discussed in an informal context. Some of the topics to be discussed at the upcoming Leinster session include revenge porn, the stance the EU should take on controversial historical monuments, and freshwater scarcity. Students in Transition Year, Fifth Year, and Sixth Year may attend and identify solutions to such issues. Perhaps you think you don’t know much about these issues, and that this means you should not attend. Luckily, one of the great things about EYP is that you will receive a booklet distilling these issues down to the key information, so you’ll arrive at the event knowing enough to give your opinion. You’re not expected to be an expert, you’ll learn from your peers instead.
EYP is open to all sorts of people. There is no one type of individual we look for to attend these events. If you are a young person, interested in hearing the opinions of others and learning more about issues in an interactive, relaxed environment, you will enjoy our sessions. Every young person in Ireland (and in the world, for that matter) has a unique perspective on the issues facing the world today. My hope for you is that you get the opportunity to realise how important that is by getting involved!
The skills you can learn from getting involved with EYP cannot be overstated. You’ll improve your communication skills, leadership skills, and confidence in public speaking, all while working as part of a team. However, EYP is about so much more than the skills you build, or the knowledge you gain. It is an opportunity to make friends that you’ll stay in touch with for years to come. I’m still involved with EYP all these years later for so many reasons, but the main one will always be the chances I get to meet new and interesting people.
I encourage you all to register for the now-digital Leinster Regional Session taking place from 29th-31st January here! Alternatively, if you would like to attend the Munster Regional Session from 18th-21st February, you can register here. I look forward to seeing everyone’s faces via Zoom!