Ulster Woman Leads the Way for Youth in China

The News Letter (Belfast, Northern Ireland), August 24, 2002 | Go to article overview

Ulster Woman Leads the Way for Youth in China


Byline: ANNE PALMER

SOME of China's 400 million young people may be about to benefit from Ulster's experienced Prince's Trust leaders.

Fermanagh woman Hazel Hicks recently returned from China, where she has been exploring opportunities for organisations like the trust to assist and train young people there.

Hazel, a programme manager for the Prince's Trust Volunteers Programme, was selected from more than 700 staff by the British Council to take part in the study visit hosted by the All China Youth Federation.

To date, more than 7,000 young people in Northern Ireland have been supported by the Trust, working to develop confidence, motivation and skills through teamwork in the community.

The majority of them have either opted to go into business, found employment or chosen a college course of study.

For Hazel, a mother of two, it's been the ultimate experience.

During her trip to Beijing, Mount Changbaishan and the North Korean Border, she also met members of the China Youth Development Federation and the National Recreation Centre for Youth and children.

The Fermanagh woman also visited youth projects that work with disabled and orphaned children.

"I was overwhelmed by the hospitality of the people we met," she said.

The visit extinguished preconceptions of a dark, drab strict country, she said.

"We were able to see life in China in a way a tourist never would.

"I believe there is a need for personal development programmes for young people as most young people live in one-child families and jobs are difficult to secure," she said. …

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