A NEW social project completed by a group of young people has been unveiled at the EOTAS (Education Other Than At School) learning centre in Strabane.
‘Drugs End All Dreams’ is a large piece of graffiti art which was inspired through research by five young people from the local area.
“It’s fantastic,” remarked Gavin Connolly from Volunteer Now, who helped facilitate the project. “The work showcases their talents and there was a lot of learning along the way about the dangers of drugs, what they do to your health.”
He continued, “This event is about showcasing the graffiti art that the young people have been involved in for the past ten weeks, coming up with their own social action.
“A ‘social action’ is defined as something that is youth led, where the young people start thinking about their community.
“In this case the young people went through a process where they talked about different social issues and then they chose drugs and alcohol being a major issue growing up in Strabane.
“None of these young people are artists. None of them have an art background. But they still managed to achieve something great and they gained a lot of knowledge from doing it.
“This is informal education and it’s making a difference.”
Also present on the day, two of the young people explained their own input into the project.
Emma Elliott commenced, “I would like to welcome everyone to EOTAS (Education Other Than At School).
“EOTAS is an alternative education centre which looks after the needs of young people.”
Jamie Mullen continued, “We decided to do a graffiti piece… to highlight the risks of taking drugs and alcohol.”
He added, “For the past ten weeks we have been researching what support there is in Strabane, and assessing the impact that taking drugs or alcohol abuse can have on a person’s life.”
The students were subsequently presented with 50-hour Volunteer Awards for their dedication to the project.
Teacher at EOTAS Briege McQuaid congratulated all those involved in the scheme.
She said, “EOTAS caters for the needs of young people in the Strabane area who have social and emotional behavioural difficulties of school-going age.
“We have other children who aren’t here at the minute… but they got this all together and with the help of Jim Morrison, our art teacher … he has been instrumental in this fantastic project.
“Thank you as well to Gavin and Jennifer (Volunteer Now) for coming down and trying to get the young people engaged and involved.”
Gavin Connolly concluded, “One of the things the young people spoke about is that they want the piece showcased around Strabane.
“So if anyone knows of a group or anything that wants it for a couple of weeks, make contact with the staff. It’s only going to be seen by a small number in here but if it’s out in the community, a lot more young people are going to see it and it’s going to have a greater impact.”
Posted: 3:08 pm December 24, 2016