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NEWS > Good News Corner > Gaisce – The President’s Award: Empowering Ireland's Youth as Agents of Change

Gaisce – The President’s Award: Empowering Ireland's Youth as Agents of Change

Igniting youth empowerment since 1985! Join thousands in a journey of positive change, personal growth, and global citizenship.

In a powerful initiative led by Charities Institute Ireland member Gaisce – The President’s Award, thousands of young people aged 14-25 are taking up the challenge to dream big, fulfill their potential, and become agents of positive change in their communities and the world at large.

Founded in 1985, Gaisce has become Ireland's national youth award, endorsed by none other than the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins. The program encourages young people to undertake Bronze, Silver, and Gold Award levels, involving skill, physical, community, and adventure challenges. More than a mere personal development journey, Gaisce aims to make a significant impact on the lives of both the participants and those around them.

Agents of Change in Action

Annually, over 25,000 young individuals embark on the Gaisce Awards journey, collectively dedicating over 325,000 hours each year to volunteer work. These efforts extend across a diverse range of activities, including supporting charity shops, participating in clean-up initiatives, promoting equality and sustainability, welcoming new community members, and providing assistance to those in need.

The success of the Gaisce Award program hinges on the dedication of 1,300 President’s Award Leaders (PALs), who voluntarily act as mentors, providing guidance and support throughout the participants' journeys. The impact is profound, with over 265,000 young people having achieved a Gaisce Award since its inception.

Global Citizenship and Social Responsibility

Gaisce not only emphasizes personal growth but also instills a sense of social responsibility. Participants are encouraged to explore global citizenship issues, aligning their efforts with the need for collective global action. As Avril Ryan, CEO of Gaisce – The President’s Award, notes, "Gaisce empowers young people to discover their strengths, develop resilience, and foster a sense of responsibility towards their communities."

The program has become a catalyst for positive change, as participants evolve into leaders, innovators, and ambassadors of a better world. The energy and enthusiasm of youth are recognized as powerful forces that can drive meaningful impact beyond individual accomplishments.

Ryan expresses her constant inspiration, stating, "Gaisce participants are not just recipients of an Award; they are leaders, innovators, and ambassadors of positive change, driving impact far beyond their individual accomplishments."

As Gaisce continues to shape the future of Ireland's youth, it stands as a testament to the transformative potential of young people when given the opportunity to dream big, fulfill their potential, and contribute positively to society.

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