Page 1


Issue 12: Huwy 2011

In this Edition of Echo we take a look at the HuWY project, as well as looking at what has been happening and what is coming up in YIC and Loft LK.


Newsl entre C n o i at

rm th Info u o enny Y y etterk kenn

d, L rt Roa o P 8 1 yic 29640 i 1 v r 9 e 4 s Tel 07 negalyouth do www.


T C E J O R P Y HuW on i t i d E l a i c Spe

Loft News & C I Y y w u H is t oming Up? C ’s News Wha t a h W p U Speak



All roads lead to Letterkenny Town Park on Saturday August 6th for this years Donegal Youth Service Party in the Park. Young bands from all across Donegal will be performing to large crowds in the Letterkenny Town Park. This will be the 7th year of the Party in the Park and as always there will be something for everyone. Gareth Gibson (Youth Information Coordinator) said: “We always look forward to hosting our annual Party in the Park, and I think it’s safe to say this year is probably the best yet, as we will be celebrating 30 years of the Donegal Youth Service also, and we are hoping to make the day a perfect family day out.” We would like to acknowledge some sponsors already on board for this years event, including Dominos, Jason Black and Watson Hire. If you would like to perform at Party in the Park contact the Youth Information Centre now on 0749129640 or ARE YOU LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, TRANSGENDER?




WELCOME TO OUR WORLD A European youth democracy project has revealed there are young people in Letterkenny and all over Ireland who have been resident here for ten years or more and yet still do not have the same education rights as their Irish peers. The project has been campaigning for better rights to education for those with uncertain citizenship and the group have held many public discussion forums over the course of this year in the LYIT. “Welcome to Our World” is an international partnership project between four organisations, Letterkenny Youth Information Centre, Letterkenny Community Development Project from Ireland, Argan and Combeat form Holland. The project has explored the impact of uncertain citizenship upon the lives of young people from the Moroccan Community in Holland and the African community in Ireland.

For more information on this project and to keep up to date with all YIC projects see

HUWY PROJECT PHOTOS PARTY IN THE PARK We take a look back at the Net Night event of the Huwy Project.

Ipod Touch winner Jake Rodgers

Middle Left: receiving their itunes vouchers Mid Right: Jamaican Vampires entertain the crowds Bottom Left: Our first ipod nano winner Bottom right: More ipod nano winners

HuWY PROJECT PARTY IN THE PARK Letterkenny Youth Information Centre and Letterkenny Institute of Technology have been a partner in the HuWY project now for almost two years. As this phase of the project comes to a close we take a closer look at what the project is all about.

WHAT IS THE PROJECT:)? HUWY believe that young people are valuable expert stakeholders in current Internet governance issues like: • • • •

Cyberbullying Child abuse ID theft, privacy and phishing File-sharing

The HUWY project aims to get young people talking about policies and laws which affect the Internet and channel this to people in governments and parliaments, working on these policies. HUWY pilots a distributed discussion model to achieve this, with people exploring and discussing the themes in their own online spaces. We aim to support young people and youth groups to investigate these topics in their

own way and help to publish their results and ideas in a way that is useful to policy-makers. HUWY are working with young people to design materials to support their discussions and, in 2010, will run a series of workshops to train facilitators. HUWY have also been working with policymakers, to find the most helpful ways to organise youth group results, plus finding the right audience for real influence, as well as feedback. HUWY is pilot project has been running in 4 countries: Estonia, Germany, Republic of Ireland and UK. It is sponsored by the European Commission.

THE AIMS OF HUWY It aims to get young people talking about policies and laws which affect the Internet This is based on the belief that young people are experts in relation to this topic. Through the project they were also given the opportunity to explore problems and come up with ideas for improvement. The project also allowed them to get more info about laws, rights and best practice in relaton to the internet. Their ideas were then channeled to people in governments and parliaments with a hope of creating better Internet laws and culture The project also aimed to increase involvement in democracy for young people and to try out a new way of getting people involved in democracy on the Internet by connecting discussions on young people/youth groups’ own web pages with people who make laws. (e.g. Parliament and the EU Parliament). The hope is that some of the ideas will lead to young people being able to do things their own way in relation to the internet and to make it more fun.



HOWS DOES THE PROJECT WORK? There is a Hub on the Huwy website sharing the ideas and recommendations from different groups across Ireland, Germany, Estonia and the UK. Here are a little selection of what some of the Irish groups had to say. For more on these see the results section of the website. ON CYBERBULLING.... Young people from the Buncrana Youth Drop-in: “Advertise and promote helpful websites for people, where they can get access to information on what to do if they are a victim of cyber-bullying and also guidance on how to help to prevent it. Create regular awareness campaigns about Privacy and other security settings on social networking sites. Social Networking sites should be obligated to investigate reports from users before making reactionary decisions. E.g deleting accounts. Take off the picture verification on facebook. Security question should be more widely in use i.e Something only you know for verification.” ON FILESHARING Young people from the Letterkenny YIC make their reccommendations: Devise a system where individual Internet users can be identified regardless of the PC they use Have a suitable and implementable penalty system to deal with illegal file sharing sites Create a mechanism that allows the indentified user to put credit onto their own account which can be distributed in relation to the downloaded files. Greater awareness campaigns to highlight the issues associated with illegal file sharing, to show that there are people who are losing out on revenue etc. Although provision should be made that enables some providers to offer files for free. A culture change is needed to deal with the illegal file sharing.


Left: John Ruddy receives first prize in national Eurodesk Photography competition (18-30 catergory - see cover pic) Right: Aoife O’Kennedy and Ciara McLaughlin receive 1st prize (13-17) in the Eurodesk National photography competition. (See middle pic)

SPEAK UP! DO YOUNG PEOPLE SPEND TOO MUCH TIME ON THE INTERNET? Our YIC Youth Media Group members offer their opinion on whether young people really do spend too much time online. Katryn Kavaliova -14 I personally think it mostly depends on the person. I believe the majority of teenagers do spend excessive time on social networks, however I wouldn’t say that the same is true for all people my age. I must admit that I myself used to and still sometimes do spend hours on Facebook or Twitter procrastinating and basically wasting my time instead of studying for exams. Although these sites are quite time consuming, where would our society be without them? It is a way of communicating and is somewhat essential for our social lives. It is really easy to lose your sense of time in all the interesting things the Internet can offer and I wouldn’t blame anyone for doing so. Too much time on social networking sites isn’t of benefit but none at all is pretty bad too. As long as you get all your homework done and do all of extra curricular activities, I really don’t see the problem of a person spending the rest of their evening sitting in front of a computer. Deborah Foy -14 I do think young people spend too much time on social networks. I know some people who, whenever I go online to Facebook, are always online. I think they use it because they’re bored. I’d generally spend about an hour to two hours on the internet every day, but more on weekends. I wouldn’t say I’m obsessed with Facebook. I check up on it quite a bit though. I think some people feel they have to check it all the time. A lot of people also have competitions with their friends to see who can get the most friends. I think it’s silly – why add people you’ve never talked to in your life? But I know what it’s like to be really bored and to be sitting in front of the computer. You immediately go to Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, whatever else. I could probably spend years on Youtube. But I’m actually going to say it –thank God for homework. It keeps me from spending so much time on the internet. But in general, I guess most people spend a lot of their time on social networks. Sarah Wood - 14 I think young people do spend too much time on social networking sites. Many young people spend hours on Facebook and Bebo etc. Many young fell as though they have to act differently than they actually are. Social networking sites are also an easy way for someone to be bullied. Very often people leave very mean comments on photos or posts on people’s walls. I know from my mother that she wouldn’t let me have a Facebook account until last year because she was afraid incase I got bullied.

Aoife O’Kennedy - 14 Honestly I think young people spend way too much time on social networking sites, sometimes to unhealthy levels. I think that in variation it’s fine but when causes problems in your relationships, school and your actual health, that’s when it gets to a problem. Though if someone were to tell me to delete my Facebook, I probably would say no, because although I suppose when I’m off school or during the summer I would spend a substantial amount of time on the internet but I think that it is useful. For example, if I didn’t have credit on my phone and I needed to contact a friend Facebook is perfect for things like that. So really in conclusion there are many pros and cons to social networking.


THE PROS AND CONS Letterkenny Youth Information Centre EVS Volunteer Sarah Desiree Borsato takes a look at what has led to a need for projects like HUWY. The Internet is the most powerful mass-media of the last century, it has pretty much spread worldwide and it allows everybody who gets in it to have access to resources from every part of the world. As with everything, it also has his pros and cons: the major advance is probably that the Internet allows us to interact with people who are distant from us, both verbally and visually through media like Skype, Facebook, Msn and video-conference. Another good way to use the Internet is to collect information: on the web people can find everything about many topics, using search engines like Google or Yahoo. The internet has also had a huge impact on how we manage our lives on a daily basis, as you can use Internet Banking, make hotel reservations, go shopping or even search for a job all while sitting at your house.

According to HUWY, the greatest

thousands and millions in revenue

problem on the Internet is the lack

each year, as people continue to

of ability to control people’s privacy.

access illegal downloads online.

Hackers can easily get into people’s accounts because of the weakness

With all these issues there is a huge

of password protection. Thieves can

need to look at how to address them.

also lure people to fake websites that

The speed of change has led to much

appear to be legitimate, where they

need to have some level of control

are asked to fill in forms with personal

over some of these issues, and laws

information or bank account’s data, in

in relation to the internet are having

that way they can steal their victims’

to change all the time in order to keep

identities and also their money.


Parents are often very worried about

The HUWY project aims to harness

how easily their kids have to access

the views and opinions of those who

to pornography, even if they are not

are the forefront of the development

interested. Another huge concern is

of the use of the internet and that is

how children can be groomed online

young people. Young people already

for sex.

know much more about the internet and how people use it than anyone,

Cyberbullying is also a huge issue,

so it is crucial that young people are

which happens when people threaten

asked about what they want the

other people via email or on social

internet to look like, how they want

networks. This may lead to

it to be safe, while still being fun and

psychological and emotional problems

doing the things they would like to

for the victims.

online, without having anyone facing abuse or invasions of privacy.

All the problems of the internet are not just linked to safety and identity

See the HUWY site today at www.

theft however. The issue of file sharing to view some of the ideas

is huge and is costing companies,

being put forward and tell us if you

artists, musicians, filmmakers

agree or not.

WHAT IS EVS? The European Voluntary Service

Letterkenny Youth Information

(EVS) which is administered

Centre is a host and sending

by Léargas, funds volunteers

organisation for the European

from one European country to

Voluntary Service. If you would

spend time - typically 2 to 12

like to find out more about EVS

months - working as a volunteer

or would like to participate in the

in a not-for-profit organisation in

programme then come in and talk

another country. The volunteer

to a member of staff now.

gains experience and skills and


an insight into a different way of living, while the host organisation,

Aoife O’Kennedy - 14

and those it cares for, benefit from

Our current EVS volunteers Sarah

the energy and enthusiasm of the

and Elisa from Italy with young

young person.

people from the YIC media group enjoying our European Youth Week celebrations.



SERVICES & PROGRAMMES STUDENT TRAVEL CARD Letterkenny Youth Information Centre is an agent for the Student Travel Card. We can process your card for you in the centre. See for more details on the discounts on offer. EURODESK Thinking of travelling, working or volunteering in Europe. Letterkenny YIC are your local Eurodesk Relay. We have access to lots of European Information so give us a call today. WEEKLY ACCOMMODATION & EMPLOYMENT LIST Our weekly employment and accommodation list for Letterkenny can now be accessed online. see for more details. FACEBOOK We are now on Facebook. Just search “Letterkenny Yic” and “Loft Letterkenny” and add us for regular updates and info. STUDENT GRANT CONSULTATION Having trouble filling out your Student Grant application? Talk to a member of staff now. YOUTH ACTION GROUP The Youth Action Group meets on Thursday evenings and is works together on how to improve our Youth Information Service, as well as helping to organise some of the bigger events we are involved in. Talk to a member of staff now to find out more.

LEAVING CERT RESULTS HELPLINE From Wednesday August 17TH to Friday August 19th. Call: 074-9129640 IMAGO EUROPAE PHOTO COMPETITION “Focus on volunteering” The Europe Direct Centres in Tuscany, Italy are running this photo competition dedicated to the European year of Volunteering. Photos should demonstrate ways in which Europeans are contributing to the betterment of society through volunteer opportunities. The prizes for the competition are two Ipad. For more info ask the staff of Youth Information Centre or go to www. FONES4LIFE Exchange your old mobile phones for life-savings defibrillator equipment. We need 250 mobile phones to get the defibrillator and with 360 we can train six people to use it. The collection Box is at the Reception desk of the YIC. NEW INTERNET ACCOUNTS Get a free hour internet if you set up a new personal internet account. Add 5 euro to your account and get 6 hours internet, add 10 and you get 12 hours. Talk with a member of staff today to find out more. FLYING THE COOP Flying the Coop is a workshop and information Seminar for those leaving home for College for the first time. It takes place on Tuesday, 23rd August 2011 at the YIC at 7pm with one also taking place in Buncrana on Wed 24th August at 6pm.

About Letterkenny Youth Information Centre The Youth Information Centre is a well established resource for the local community providing Young people and those who work with them a one stop shop for information and training opportunities in the following areas: Job and Housing Lists - Law and Justice - CV Preparation Travel opportunities - College applications - Student Travel card service - Practice for Driver Theory Test - Leadership training - Media skills training - Drop in service Letterkenny Youth Information Centre, 16-18 Port Road, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal Tel 0749129640 or email

LOFT LK is the Letterkenny Health Advice and Adolescent Support Cafe. The Loft is managed by Donegal Youth Service and Foroige and is funded by the Health Service Executive. THE LOFT LK SUMMER PROGRAMME HAS BEEN RUNNING OVER THE LAST NUMBER OF WEEKS. STILL TO COME... COME DINE WITH ME 2nd – 5th August. This week will introduce concepts of healthy eating and planning a healthy diet. Aimed at 16 to 18 years old who would like to gain important skills for their future. Participants fee 10 euro. ROCKSCHOOL 9th-12th August. This week will be packed with exciting activities, challenges, competitions and more; open to all young people aged 12 to 18. Participant fee: €10 MULTI-ACTIVITY WEEK 23rd-26th August. This week will be packed with exciting activities, challenges, competitions and more; the specific events will be promoted in the LOFT prior to the week; open to all young people aged 12 to 18 Participant fee: €10 For more info ask the LOFT staff 074-9188271 YIC AND LOFT LK SUMMER DROP IN Opening times: Monday 12-6pm Tuesday 12-6 pm Wednesday 12-8pm Thursday 12-8pm Friday 12-10pm Saturday 12-4pm Saturday 5-8pm * *(for people aged 15-18) The Youth Information Centre is open to anyone between the ages of 12-25 years old with the drop in operating from 12-6pm Monday to Thursday, 12-5pm on Fridays. The LOFT welcomes every person aged between 12 and 18 years and its operating times areas are as follows: Wednesday and Thursday from 5pm to 8.00pm, Friday from 5pm to 8pm, Saturday from 12pm-4pm and from 5pm- 8pm for people aged between 15 and 18.



This is a quarterly newsletter produced by the Letterkenny Youth Information Centre featuring news and information for young people from the...