The Donegal Youth Council (DYC)
About the youth council:
The Donegal Youth Council comprises of 36 young people from across the county who are elected by the young people of Donegal to represent the young people of Donegal. Our aim is to represent the views and opinions of the youth of Donegal who are not voting age, and to work and lobby for projects and initiatives to improve the lives of young people across the county.
What we do:
As a youth councillor representing Magh Ene College myself, I have to attend two meetings every month. One meeting is at county level and one meeting at regional level. At these meetings our aim is to develop projects and initiatives we feel will improve the lives of young people across Donegal. We also play a role in representing young peoples’ views on a range of committees such as the Road safety working group, Donegal sexual health Forum, LGBT breakout steering group, Jigsaw and much more smaller charities and organisations.
How to become a youth councillor:
The Youth Council is open to all young people aged between 12-16 in the county. At the Donegal Youth Council we feel it is important a process of self nomination is utilised. This ensures the candidates are aware of the commitment involved i.e. travel, weekend meetings, timescale etc. Once a candidate decides on running for the Donegal Youth Counil they then have to enter the election process. This is basically a small election campaign in their school or local youth club. Candidates usually put up posters around their school or youth club and hand out flyers to their fellow students explaining what it is all about. If a candidate gets elected onto the DYC they will serve a two year term on the Youth Council.
What we are currently doing:
At the moment we are working closely with many youth groups and organisations i.e. Young Carers, An Óige, Foróige, National Youth Council of Ireland, Spunout etc. We are also trying to raise more awareness for girls in sport and raise more awareness about sexual health in teenagers. As well as that we are working on radio advertisements to inform the public of the consequences of reckless driving.
By Colin Gilligan (Magh Éne College Youth Councillor)