International Fund for Ireland appoints RDC to 20million Youth Programme

17 December 2015

The International Fund for Ireland today confirmed the appointment of the Rural Development Council (RDC) as Managing Agent for a new youth programme aimed at those who are unable to access or remain in traditional education and training provision.

The Personal Youth Development Programme (PYDP) is a key component of the Fund’s new ‘Community Consolidation – Peace Consolidation 2016-2020’ strategy and up to £20 million will be allocated to the training and learning programme.

Launched in November, the Fund’s five-year strategy will expand and intensify critical peace building programmes in Northern Ireland and the southern border counties of Ireland.  

Dr Adrian Johnston, Chairman of the International Fund for Ireland said:

“The Personal Youth Development Programme looks to give young people new ways to access learning, skills and employment and cross-community opportunities. It is designed to be flexible with multiple entry points and will support participants to make positive choices that can benefit themselves and others.

“Over the last 30 years, we’ve secured remarkable achievements and have supported thousands of young people to take control of their lives, secure new opportunities and claim positive leadership role in their communities.  The Rural Development Council brings the skills, experience and knowhow needed to build on our previous accomplishments and drive this new programme forward.”

Welcoming the announcement, Teresa Canavan, RDC Chief Executive, said:

“RDC is delighted to be involved with the International Fund for Ireland.  We are looking forward to working on what promises to be a very exciting and rewarding programme for everyone involved.

“The Personal Youth Development Programme (PYDP) will provide young people with real opportunities for self-development and enhanced employment prospects.

“In recent years great progress has been made in Northern Ireland. However, there are still major fears that, due to disillusionment with conventional politics and a sustained lack of opportunities in some of the most deprived areas of the province, many young people will be driven towards unlawful or violent activity or paramilitary involvement.

“PYDP will minimise those risks by providing personalised routes into learning, skills and employment that allow participants to enter at multiple points to suit their circumstances. It will support participants as they explore their needs and the decisions they make to improve their lives, communities and interactions with others.

“RDC is very excited to be working on this programme and look forward to engaging with young people, groups and communities over the coming months and years.”