Europe for young people – ‘ Time to Move’ 2015

Ever had a fleeting daydream of travellng to Holland, France or maybe moving through the continent along the route of the Danube on an Inter-rail pass? Ever wondered about working for a year in Italy to learn the language and immerse yourself in their culture? Ever thought about studying in a German University , or placing yourself at the centre of the political or business world in the EU?

Ever wondered, but never thought too seriously because it seemed a bit unrealistic and a bit of a dream? Well maybe now is the time to ask some questions and wonder no more as there is actually a lot of help and support available to help young people pursue any or all of those dreams.

time to move logo

There is support right through the year at any of the many Eurodesk offices around the country. But if you would like information this week, then we have the perfect event for you. Time to Move is a 2 week event happening at the moment. It began on 21 Sept and will continue until 04 October.

At its centre is a Eurodesk event being held on September 25th in the Carmelite Community Centre in Dublin. The event will be a chance to find out about volunteer opportunities. There will be a chance to meet and speak with young people who have participated in European Voluntary Services (EVS). There will also be plenty of staff from Youth Information Centres, Eurodesk and Europe Direct information Centres and Spunout the youth information website to answer questions you might have.

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If you can’t make the event on the 25th, there are different competitions happening in conjunction ‘Time To Move’ which you can find out about on their website http://timetomove.info/

For the rest of the year Eurodesk doesn’t go away and is available for any queries right through the year. 2015 is Eurodesk’s 25th Anniversary and their 20th year in Ireland. Crosscare’s information team in Wicklow, Dun Laoghaire and Clondalkin are all part of the Eurodesk family and happy to help with any questions about travelling to Europe, whether that is for leisure, to work or to study.

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If volunteering is your thing, Crosscare will also be launching their ‘Rough Guide to EVS’ very soon too, which we will be sharing here, so watch this space.

Europe has a lot to offer Irish young people but not many people know how best to access those opportunities. Maybe now is the, ‘Time to Move?’ and time to change those dreams of traveling into reality.

CAO is not the only way to go!

Great post from colleagues about the alternatives to the CAO route

Youth Information

With so much attention on the CAO, you may be forgiven if you have overlooked the fact that there is a wealth of careers that can be accessed outside the CAO system…

SOLAS– http://www.solas.ie :     The new Further Education and Training Authority. It offers training and further education programmes to both jobseekers looking for employment and employees wishing to improve their skills. Part-time, full-time, day and evening courses for jobseekers. In addition, specific skills training for industry and the Traineeship programme, which combines formal training with workplace coaching, are also available.

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Apprenticeships – http://www.fas.ie/en/Training/Apprenticeships/default.htm :     You can train to become a plasterer or electrician. While you are training, you work with an employer learning the necessary skills and receive a wage. Most apprenticeships last 4 years. Apprentices must be at least 16 years of age and have a minimum of grade D in any five subjects in the Junior Certificate or…

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This novel might save a life one day

Could a novel, aimed at teenagers, actually save a life? ‘Asking For It’ by Louise O’Neill might be one that could.

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Am I exaggerating? Am I guilty of a post heading that is basically clickbait? I don’t think so.  Louise O’Neill’s first book ‘Only Ever Yours’ was dark but ‘Asking For It’, is stark, uncompromising, challenging and will leave you angry with one, some, or even all of the various characters.

I’ve written previously about young adult books that explore important issues and that I felt moved to recommend to as many people as I could. This is another one of those books. If you’re looking for light and fluffy reading material, Louise O’Neill is not the author for you.  If you want your attitudes challenged, if you want something that charges your emotions, then go track down her books.

In Asking For It, we meet Emma. She really isn’t that nice a person. She’s jealous of her friends, beautiful but vain, popular but horrible (even to her friends), generally she’s a bit of a mean girl. She lives in an Irish town that could be anywhere. She goes to a party, she gets drunk, she takes ‘something’, and while its all happening you are shouting in your head (or out loud) at the pages, warning her, berating her, hating the fellas, begging her friends to intercede. Its uncomfortable to read. You know what’s coming.

Thankfully this novel isn’t about the graphic horror of rape, but does explore what the author terms, ‘rape culture’. Its about culpability. Its about consent or its absence. It is about a lot of things, victim blaming, effects on family, shame, attitudes to drink and drugs, young men’s attitudes to women, young women’s attitudes to each other, slut-shaming, small town attitudes, social judgement, the impact of social media, how mainstream media, talk shows, radio phone-in shows cover similar incidences. Its about the speculation and discussion around ‘Whose fault it is!’  Its about sexual assault getting reported, or not getting reported and what happens or doesn’t happen as a result.

I suggested this book might save a life. How?  This story is all too real, all too possible. Young people reading it will recognise characters and situations AND their reactions and consequences. #SlaneGirl anyone?  My hope by recommending this book be read, is that it might make someone pause. They might recognise their own actions on the pages of this book. Hopefully that person will see their actions as either repulsive or risky and just think some more about how they are in that situation.

I don’t know the stats regarding rape and suicide in Ireland, but I’m guessing they don’t make great reading. This novel might save a life one day.

For further support:

Rape Crisis Network Ireland

Dublin Rape Crisis Centre