The following information summarizes the Youth Project in the Lower Ormeau Residents Action Group (LORAG), which the requested funds will benefit:
"The Project operates on a non-discriminatory basis. That is, particular efforts are made towards inclusivity. If a young person has special needs they receive additional support from workers and volunteers. There has, as a result, been only one case where a young person has been excluded, despite the fact that many of those who attend are barred from the Youth Club (editor's note: another youth club in the area which apparently doesn't work with "at-risk" kids as much as LORAG). So far, four cases have been referred to appropriate agencies for counseling. The staff and volunteers also work closely with the young people to address issues of concern to Project member or the local community. For example they would liase with the Probation Board clients who have been referred to them for anti-social behavior.
Over the past year, considerable work has been done in relation to health promotion and peer education on issues related to sexuality and substance abuse. The Youth Project runs a Drug Information Centre for parents and young people one evening each month. The Youth Project also gives considerable emphasis to anti-sectarian awareness work. There are plans to run training sessions for a total of 30 young people in group work skills, committee skills and team building, based on an experiential learning model.
The Project runs a drop-in facility four evenings per week, which is attended by an average of 35 young people. Gender balance is exceptionally good; young women make up more than 40% of those attending most evenings. In addition to the regular "club" sessions, there are a number of other regular project activities. These include:
*Fortnightly outings to discos outside Belfast. Transport provided
*A monthly disco in the LORAG premises
*Saturday workshops in conjunction with Lagan Water Sports on water safety
*St. Patrick's Day preparation workshops
*Summer Club: the summer club this year (1999) will include six day sessions on the Lagan River; a 14-day residential in France; two 7-day residentials in Newcastle; a 7-day residential in Carlingford; weekend camping excursions and an overnight trip to Ormeath; Approximately 14-18 persons are accommodated on each residential.
*Community festival activities"