Changing the trajectory of teenagers’ lives – the 2011 Innovista Challenge

In less than 48 hours time myself and two friends will be hitting the hills and waterways of West Cork for the 2011 Innovista Challenge.

We’ll be:

cycling 25km
running 8km and
kayaking 1.5km
(on what is looking like being a cold October morning)

The time for training has passed. The emergency whistle has been purchased and bike serviced.  Now time to start praying we make it to the finish line in one piece. And of course one other vital way you can help us make it across the finish line in Skibbereen is to sponsor us!

But first why, on a cold October morning are we putting our bodies through such pain?

Robbie* is a teenager from inner city Dublin. He lives in a community where drug and alcohol abuse is rife and the best paying job prospect for young males is as a drug dealer.

Alcoholism and a parent in prison have devastated Robbie’s family life. It is no surprise that he has dropped out of school early and has a police record for violent behaviour. Today his future has ‘prison’ written all over it.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Robbie is intelligent, talented and influential. He has incredible potential. Imagine if he used that potential to influence his peers for good, to bring change in his community. Robbie could be a future leader.

To do that he needs people around him who will invest deeply in him; who will show him that another way is possible; who will encourage him and cheer him on; who will do what most of us would consider normal.

Future Leaders is an initiative created for young people like Robbie. We want to break the cycle of hopelessness and despair and help him experience that change is possible. We want to equip Robbie and his peers with the skills, courage and character to be leaders who change their own lives and transform their communities.

Robbie is part of the Future Leaders pilot programme that’s being delivered by Innovista Ireland and a local church.

There are hundreds of teenagers like Robbie who can become future leaders. Your support will enable us to expand the programme, giving more young people their much needed opportunity to see that there is a better way and become part of the change that’s needed where they are.

That’s why we’re doing the challenge. Please give whatever you can …here’s how:

If you live in Ireland  (or anywhere else, and are not a UK taxpayer) click here to give via sponsor.ie

If you are a taxpayer in Northern Ireland or the rest of the UK  click here to give via JustGiving (which enables us to claim tax relief on your gift)

You can also support us in the challenge by sharing this page and encouraging your friends to get on board.

Thanks!

*Name changed for privacy reasons

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