Roe Valley Residents Association have celebrated a major milestone in what the organisation say is their “long term strategy at opening up opportunities to children and young people”.
Project coordinator for RVRA, Karen Campbell, said four years ago the idea arose to travel Catalonia in Spain.
She said the idea of the trip was so young people could learn the similarities that exist between Catalonia and Northern Ireland in terms of identity.
“The over arching aim for this experience was to broaden young people’s minds, open up access to new cultural experiences, and raise aspirations for them,” said Ms Campbell.
“This has been an amazing life experience for everyone involved. Through sheer grit and focus, the young people have excelled in their capacity to deliver community activities. I would like to congratulate everyone on their participation.”
“The preparation for the trip done quite a bit for them in terms of developing responsibility, building confidence and empowering the members as most elements were very much young person led,” said Ms Campbell.
“Young people had to communicate with others facing a range of language barriers. There was even opportunity for young people to mutually respect each other within the group in terms of their own identity.”
In addition, to achieving cultural respect, young people experienced what they need to do in order to travel efficiently throughout Europe - the importance of passports, health and travel insurance, personal security and requirements for travelling from one country to another.
They also learned more about money management, said Ms Campbell.
“New friendships, consideration towards others and mutual respect were also developed through the whole experience.
“We hope that this experience will help young people see that there are great life opportunities that are achievable through focus, determination and having that much needed aspiration.”