Blanch students represent Ireland at international youth exchange

by Sylvia Pownall
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Four students from Blanchardstown Community Training Centre (CTC) have just returned from an international youth exchange, where they represented Ireland.

The young people travelled to Spain where 24 students from six countries prepared, delivered and took part in workshops in each nation’s culture.

The Blanchardstown quartet were joined by others from Estonia, Italy, Poland, Romania and Spain and the event was deemed a huge success by all involved.

A spokesperson for Blanchardstown CTC said: “It was a big responsibility for them to act as ambassadors, not only for Blanchardstown CTC, but also for Ireland.

“They had to explain to other Europeans about Irish culture, traditions, food and in general what makes Irish people ‘Irish’.

“Some of the young people from Blanchardstown had never been outside Ireland.

“It was a new experience for them, but they soon lost their shyness and shared their hopes, dream and vision for the future with their European counterparts.

“They even gave an Irish dancing lesson in the town square.”

The project was fully funded by Erasmus and the European Social Fund, so there was no cost to the young people involved.

The CTC spokesperson revealed: “It was a success and the young people who took part had a once-in-a-lifetime experience, met new friends, built new relationships, strengthened personal values and got to witness the wider world outside of Dublin 15.

“Their feedback included comments like: ‘It was amazing … When can we do it again?’.”

Blanchardstown CTC was established in 2010 and provides vocational preparation and life skills training to meet the needs of early school leavers and local young people.

It is actively involved in a number of Erasmus projects and this is one of the many benefits and opportunities awarded to young people who enrol on its courses.

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