Derry community and youth worker, Damien Coyle, is to spend January in Africa in order to assist the development of youth groups there.
The Burnfoot man has also offered to fast on Christmas Day if he reaches a target of E1000 prior to then.
The Off The Street’s worker hopes to establish links with the African projects in order that young Derry people might benefit from volunteering opportunities there.
Damien has been fundraising for the last year to fund his charity mission. He has also completed the marathon in Derry and the Turin run last weekend. And he has organised a charity football match between local youth workers and Derry City Legends at Magee for December 14. A recent Funderbowl event also contributed several hundred pounds to his chosen charity, Africa Direct.
Off The Streets are a youth intervention initiative based in Galliagh. Africa Direct are an Irish volunteer charity, who support projects in the developing world.
As well as training for his marathons, Damien is also a manager and coordinator with Off The Streets and has just completed his degree in Youth and Community work at Magee. His fundraising has been a substantial commitment. “It has been a lot of juggling but I am excited at the prospect of not only helping others but at the chance to develop my own skills and experience in a totally different environment, culture and society. I am kind of heading into the unknown.”
Having spent five years with Off The Streets Damien is well placed to help his hosts develop programmes best suited to the needs of the young people.
He said: “I want to explore how the projects I visit offer youth services with minimal resources. While we don’t have many resources in Derry, we do have skilled workers, they don’t and have even less resources.”
To donate http://www.sponsor.ie/damien-coyle/event/challenge-for-kenya/
Off The Streets are recruiting for the 2014 programs.