Google.Org grant €500,000 to BeLonG To Youth Services to Increase Safety of LGBTI+ Youth in Schools and Communities across Ireland

Training and support to be offered to young people and teachers 

BeLonG To Youth Services, whose mission is to support LGBTI+ young people, has received a 500,000 grant from Google.Org, as part of the Google.org Impact Challenge on Safety, a €10 million fund to support organisations that are creating practical, real-world solutions when it comes to hate, extremism, and child safety, both online and offline. 

Working with over 1,500 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans young people and families each year, BeLonG To combine online and offline activities to create and put in place support structures for LGBTI+ youth across Ireland. Resources include digital awareness-raising campaigns that direct attention not just to anti-LGBTI+ hate speech but also to encourage the LGBTI+ community to engage in help-seeking behaviour in the face of hostility or bullying. 

The funding from Google.org will allow BelonG To to change the lives of over 50,000 LGBTI+ youths by making schools across Ireland a safer place and by establishing holistic support structures within Ireland’s education system. Additionally, the grant will allow BeLonG To to provide face to face training for school teachers and equip them with the necessary tools and resources to broach and tackle anti LGBTI+ sentiment in their classrooms while also providing them with the know-how to support victims of anti LGBTI+ hate. 

BelonG To are one of  29 organisations across 14 countries to benefit from The €10 million Google.org Impact Challenge on Safety, the recipients of which were announced today at an event in Brussels. 

Moninne Griffith, CEO BeLonG To Youth Service, said; “Hate and violence against LGBTI+ young people is escalating in Ireland. We see the devastating impact of this on the lives of LGBTI+ young people as they experience isolation, bullying, and discrimination both online and offline. Our mission is to create a world where young people are equal, safe and valued, but we cannot do it alone. Thanks to the generous support of the Google.org Impact Challenge on Safety, we can send out a strong message that we will not stand for hate and extremism. These funds will allow us to spread this powerful message nationwide equipping schools with tools to support LGBTI students, spearheading a digital campaign to combat hate speech and supporting vulnerable LGBTI+ youth on the frontline through digital youth work. We are so grateful to Google.org for investing in the lives of LGBTI+ young people and look forward to working with them on this project to promote inclusion and respect.”  

The Google.org funds will allow BeLonG To to launch a new project combining three main strands:

  • Improving the supports available to LGBTI+ young people who have been victims of hate, discrimination, and extremism by adding staff capacity to support LGBTI+ youth through digital youth work nationally. 
  • Providing ongoing training and supporting organisational change in post-primary schools across Ireland so that they become inclusive and welcoming places for LGBTI+ young people. 
  • Rolling out a new digital campaign combating hate and extremism online directed at the LGBTI+ community.

ENDS 

For further information please contact: 

 

Sinead Keane, Communications & Advocacy Manager, BeLonG To Youth Services, 01 670 6223 / 087 768 0389, sinead@belongto.org

For further information on BeLonG To please visit 

https://www.belongto.org/

NOTES TO THE EDITOR:

BeLonG To Youth Service 

BeLonG To Youth Service is a national organisation supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans young people. BeLonG To combine online and offline activities to create and put in place support structures for LGBTI+ youth across Ireland including youth groups and frontline support services. Resources include digital awareness-raising campaigns that direct attention not just to anti-LGBTI+ hate speech but also to encourage the LGBTI+ community to engage in help-seeking behaviour in the face of hostility or bullying. 

Google.org Impact Challenge on Safety

The Google.org Impact Challenge on Safety is a €10m fund to support organisations across Europe that are working on challenges related to hate, extremism, and child safety, both online and offline. By funding new and existing community projects across Europe, we hope to support initiatives to counter hate and extremism and help young people to become confident digital citizens.