Voices of Youth

Advocacy by young people, for young people

Voices of Youth Group is a national media group made up of young people who are interested in having their say in youth issues in Ireland. They work together to develop their skills to engage the media through interviews, blog posts, social media and press releases. The group is made up of young people from Youth Work Ireland services and are aged 15 and over.

They increase the visibility of young people and impact on media and government policy, including the Children’s Referendum and the Constitutional Committee. They generate over 300 national media stories per year and members of VOY have features in newspaper and on currently affairs radio programmes such as The Last Word.

Having Your Voice Heard

Young People have the Right to have their Voice Heard when decisions are made about things that affect them. In Ireland young people can influence decisions that matter to them through Comhairle na nÓg, Dáil na nÓg, in Local Youth Services and on Youth Councils. But many want to do more!

Decisions get made about young people all the time. The media is an area that influences decisions about young people. But, the media in Ireland does not often give young people a chance to have their voice heard. Instead, young people are often shown negatively in media stories about crime, alcohol and anti-social behaviour. These stories lead to a negative view of young people in society.

Voices of Youth gives young people the chance to have their Voices heard by decision makers and in the Media.

Influencing Issues that Matter to You

When young people have their voice they can change the negative view of young people in society. They can challenge negative stories and present the positive things that young people do. By presenting their views in the media and to decision makers young people can also influence issues that matter to them.

Voices of Youth gives Irish young people the chance to influence decisions about issues that matter to them

Intergration - Is It Working for Young People

Mansion House, Dublin 
Saturday 21st March 2015

Young people from Sudan, Poland, Bangladesh (Rohingya) Bosnia, Ireland, Romania and many other backgrounds will come together today at Dublin’s Mansion House with the Lord Mayor and Minister Aodhan O’Riordain to ask the question ‘integration - is it working for young people?’. The event, which is part of the Polska Eireann Festival, was organised by Joanna Siewierska and other members of Voices of Youth gave young people from diverse backgrounds the chance to make recommendations directly to decision makers on how best to include them in integration policies now and in the future.

The young people examined what works well in Ireland and what needs to improve. Also participating in this event was experts from the New Communities Partnership, the Second Level Students Union and the Islamic Community. 




What Rules Rule You? A Voices of Youth and Youth Work Ireland Event on Young People and Education

Uniforms, piercings, suspensions, CSPE, expression, lunch times...school is often defined by lots of rules around lots of different things. On the 19th of February, 60 young people came together, as part of Youth Work Ireland's Voices of Youth group to explore questions about rules in school.

The general motivation behind this event can be summarised as;

  • A lack of knowledge around the source and origin of many school rules combined with a view that many are somewhat anachronistic;
  • A desire to see more participation and influence by young people in the running of schools;
  • The need to look at broader issues relating to the role of the school in young people’s lives now and in the future;
  • A desire to produce in a constructive and collaborative way a resource to assist young people in these area.

 Joanna Siewerska from Voices of Youth spoke with George Hook on "The Right Hook" on Thursday 20th February

Coverage of this event was also covered in the Irish Independent

Voices of Youth at the National Constitutional Convention