100,000 Milestone for Social Innovation Partnership

Young Social Innovators and Vodafone Ireland Foundation are celebrating reaching a significant milestone of impacting 100,000 young Irish people through their three year partnership which delivered social innovation programmes across schools nationwide. Over 1,200 projects have been completed by young people throughout the course of the partnership, tackling community issues such as bullying, human rights, inequality, farm safety and many more. All projects focused on leaving a positive legacy in local communities, as well as increasing confidence and self-esteem in the young people participating.

In 2012 Young Social Innovators and Vodafone Ireland Foundation joined forces with a view to doubling the number of young people to participate in the Young Social Innovators programme. Yesterday this vision was achieved, with the programme successfully doubling the number of Young Social Innovators from 50,000 to 100,000 over three years. Vodafone Ireland has also grown its internal employee engagement in charity activity to 25% in the last three years as a direct result of the partnership.

Since the partnership commenced in 2012, Vodafone Ireland Foundation has invested over €1.2 million of funding and over half a million in marketing support. In addition, Vodafone employees continuously supported this partnership providing technology support, expertise and volunteering 10,000 employee hours to build this empowered community of young social innovators.

Speaking about the partnership, Anne O’ Leary, CEO, Vodafone Ireland said, “Over the last three years it has been a privilege to work with the young people across the country involved in Young Social Innovators. Together we developed a strategy to drive the youth agenda and today is testament to the passion and dedication of each and every person involved in the programme. For Vodafone it has been a truly inspiring experience. The enthusiasm, intelligence and creativity of the students involved in the programme year on year continues to astound me and there is no doubt that our country has a bright future ahead as today’s ‘Young Social Innovators’ become tomorrow’s leaders”.

Rachel Collier, CEO, Young Social Innovators said, “Young people are a powerful force for good in Ireland and have much to offer to local communities and the wider society. This partnership with Vodafone Foundation Ireland has been incredible for Young Social Innovators and as a result we have now doubled our reach to young people nationwide. As well as the financial investment, the organisation benefitted hugely from the support of Vodafone’s employees who were engaged with us every step of the way, in addition to the technology support, expertise and brand support. The unique and unprecedented partnership was a true collaboration and has helped build a powerful ecosystem for social innovation education– a wonderful legacy for Ireland’s future”.

Colin Mc Andrew, a student at Portmarnock Community School, Dublin who took part in YSI in 2015 said, “YSI has shown me the true value of self-determination. In order for something to happen or to change it is no longer acceptable to just talk about the issue or to simply give handouts, change can only happen through action. YSI is a platform for people of my age to do something that brings value to another’s life. It has taught me to seek opportunities and make the most out of life.”

For more information about Young Social Innovators, please visit www.youngsocialinnovators.ie

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