28th June 2012, Irish singer-songwriter Mundy joined Jeroen Hoencamp, Vodafone Ireland CEO, and Sr. Stanislaus Kennedy, Co-founder and Chairperson of Young Social Innovators, to unveil a new and ambitious partnership between Vodafone Ireland and Young Social Innovators to enable young people across the country to use their voice, creativity, talents and passion to become a force for positive change in their communities.
The partnership involves a three year commitment from Vodafone Ireland, led by the Vodafone Ireland Foundation, to support and expand an innovative programme designed by Young Social Innovators to make it accessible to all 16-24 year olds in Ireland. Vodafone Ireland has pledged over €400,000 in funding to Young Social Innovators in the first year, as well as committed to a programme which will utilise Vodafone's 35 retail stores, more than 1,100 employees, its leading-edge technology, brand power and expertise.
The YSI Social Innovation programme is currently implemented in over 200 secondary schools annually in Ireland and supports students through the process of identifying local issues and working together to affect positive change in the community. The aim of this partnership is to double the number of secondary schools participating in the programme reaching every community in Ireland, ultimately engaging 100,000 students.
Jeroen Hoencamp, CEO of Vodafone Ireland said, "Vodafone Ireland is in a great position to offer a powerful set of tools and a strong support system to this new partnership. We believe this is the most ambitious social innovation project to date in Ireland and we want to put the full power of Vodafone behind young people as a driving force for positive change in Irish society."
Paul Ryan, External Affairs Director and Chairman of the Vodafone Ireland Foundation, said, "This partnership marks a new focused commitment from the Vodafone Ireland Foundation to 16-24 year olds in Ireland. These young people are being disproportionately affected by the recession; the effects of which are contributing to growing health and social problems and a growing feeling of disillusion. We believe social innovation led by empowered young people can help lead Ireland out of crisis and that Young Social Innovators, with the right support, can build the framework to make this a reality."
"At Young Social Innovators we've already seen the tremendous positive effects of the programme on young people and their communities. Young Social Innovators believe in the potential of young people to re-imagine society - one that is more caring, equal and fair for all of its members. With Vodafone Ireland's support, more young people and communities will benefit from a programme that will be truly life-changing for the individuals involved as well as enriching for society as a whole", continued Sr. Stanislaus Kennedy.
Rachel Collier, CEO and Co-Founder of Young Social Innovators, said, "Young Social Innovators welcomes the Vodafone Ireland Foundation as its official partner sharing a vision for Ireland where young people are empowered and their voice is promoted and heard. Through this partnership, young people throughout Ireland will have access to more opportunities to engage in social innovation. They will learn the skills required to imagine what is possible and to bring that vision to reality."
For more information, visit www.vodafone.ie/foundation.
For further information contact:
Tracy Godfrey, Vodafone Ireland, 087 9691118
Natalie Hodgess, Vodafone Ireland, 087 1236611
Aoife Kelly, FTI Consulting, 086 816 7085
Vodafone is Ireland's leading total communications provider with 2.46 million customers across mobile, fixed line and DSL. At 31st March 2012 Vodafone Ireland's mobile telecoms base was 2.22 million.
Vodafone is one of the world's largest mobile communications companies by revenue with approximately 404 million customers in its controlled and jointly controlled markets as at 31 March 2012. Vodafone currently has equity interests in over 30 countries across five continents and more than 40 partner networks worldwide. For more information, please visit www.vodafone.com.
About Vodafone Ireland Foundation
The Vodafone Ireland Foundation (VIF) was established in 2003 to help support Irish charities to respond to the needs in Irish society. It is the first Foundation of its kind in Ireland. It is among 27 Vodafone Foundations around the world (www.vodafonefoundation.org) and is part of Vodafone's commitment to be a responsible global citizen and member of society. To date the Vodafone Ireland Foundation has committed over €7m in funding to the sector and it has more than 30 active charity partnerships.
About Young Social Innovators (YSI):
Young Social Innovators is a youth organisation that believes in the power of young people to bring about change in their communities and wider society. Founded in 2001 from Social Innovations Ireland (SII), the organisation focuses on empowering young people through education for social innovation. The YSI Social Innovation programme is currently taken up in over 200 secondary schools across Ireland annually. For further information, please visit www.youngsocialinnovators.ie