When we piloted the first RISE Leadership Programme we had a dream of breaking the cycle of hopelessness many teenagers find themselves in by giving them an experience of changing something in their community. We dreamed of teenagers being seen as problem solvers instead of problems to be solved. We dreamed of RISE as a leadership programme that churches could take and use to serve teenagers in their local communities.
Since then 461 teenagers have participated in RISE in Dublin, as we honed the material and content. We added a mentoring programme that 15 girls took part in last year. Currently we are in the process of converting RISE into a resource that others can take and use, with two pilot programmes already delivered by youth workers in Dublin. This year we plan to have pilots in Mullingar and Northern Ireland.
In the autumn of 2017, we were delighted to be named as one of the five Irish projects to participate in Cinnamon Network’s incubator programme – which helps scale up projects so they can be replicated. As part of Cinnamon’s incubator we will receive two years of support, mentoring and training as we learn with and from the four other projects. There is also the potential of some significant funding to help make that happen.
We are thankful for the ways we have seen God at work in the last year shaping and leading us with RISE and are excited to be getting support to scale it up to become a resource that churches across the island could use to serve young people in their communities.
“My favourite thing about RISE was all of us working together and working hard to help out our community in some way.” -Kitija, 4th Year
“I learned that my community is valuable part of my life.” -Janell, 4th Year
“I can stay involved in my community by helping my neighbours as much as I can.” -Andra, 4th Year