“A little over a year ago, my family left Nigeria and came to Ireland.
We spent the first three months in a Covid-19 lockdown so I didn’t have a chance to meet people.
When the lockdown lifted, it was a huge culture shock and there was so much to adjust to. In Nigeria, I was just used to my own friends, family and other Nigerian people. But in Letterkenny there was so much diversity in terms of nationalities and viewpoints. I didn’t know what was okay to say and what wasn’t okay. In Nigeria, for example, you’d be slagged for being vegetarian but at youth club, I learned that it’s just a different lifestyle and not something bad.
Being involved in the youth club opened my eyes to how people can be so different – and how that’s okay. I’ve met people from the UK, Asia and other African people. I’m learning so much, not just about Irish life and culture but about people from all around the world.
Without this, I’d have struggled to fit in and feel at home in Ireland. Youth club has helped me make the transition and to find my people”
Youth services need to be properly funded – they are life-changing for thousands of young people like Perkins. Will you add your name to this petition for more investment in youth work in Budget 23?