April 26, 2020

Minister Zappone’s Message for Young People

‘We have never needed you to step up so much, and you have never made us so proud’

(from left) Naomi Long, Minister Katherine Zappone & Keith Allen at Lava Javas Youth Café

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone wants to thank and commend the young people of Ireland for their efforts over the past weeks, and recognises the contribution they are making to the national effort to tackle the COVID-19 crisis.

“I want to say a few words to the young people of Ireland.
“I have been so incredibly impressed by the patience, kindness and bravery of you all, in these very difficult times. Things are so strange right now I know, and I guess that at times you may have been a bit scared, a bit bored, a bit frustrated. But I draw inspiration from the many stories I hear, from all around the country, of the efforts and attitude of our youngest. I would also like to thank you personally, and on behalf of the government for listening to and cooperating with the advice being provided by the Taoiseach, Government and our health experts.
“Whether it is helping grandparents get the knack of a smart phone so they can keep in touch with family; helping out at home and assisting busy parents; sending messages of support to our essential workers via social media; or respecting social distancing rules whilst trying to study or just hang out online with friends. The list is endless. And endlessly inspiring.
“I want to also pay tribute to those of you who may be feeling isolated or vulnerable at this time. I want you to know you are not alone. Your school may be closed; your sports or youth club may not be running as normal right now; your grandparents may not be able to hug you; but we are all finding ways of doing things differently and supports are out there.

Roxanna Szabo, trainee with LYS’ Bakery Skills Class presents a DCYA themed cake to Minister Zappone

“There are a range of important supports out there and I want to encourage young people to avail of them. Stay connected – you are not alone.
“I would encourage you to make contact with your local youth services at this time.
“In my time as Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, I have always been proud of the many inspiring examples of Irish young people as creators, innovators and leaders in their own right. The young people in our local Comhairlí are just that. Across the country, they are working with local authorities to listen to young people, hear what’s important for them at this time and communicate directly with them. They have been quickly adapting to the COVID-19 crisis by reaching out to their communities in positive and creative ways. They have been reinforcing the public health messages about staying at home, and focusing on the positive things we can all do to mind our mental health at this time, as well as acknowledging our amazing frontline workers. Information on all the great work going on around the country is being featured daily on their website
“Remember that, while our physical world might have shrunk, our imaginations are limitless so please keep creating, innovating and connecting to one another and to your communities.
“You are shining examples to us all, and we look to you to continue your efforts for a bit longer.
“Please also keep looking to the future. You are the future and your energy, commitment and passion on issues such as climate change and social justice is what inspires all of us to strive for a better world.
“We have never needed you to step up so much, and you have never made us so proud.”

ENDS ####