We are hugely encouraged and inspired by the way our Alpha offices are developing the Alpha Youth context in their countries, through new research, initiatives and hires.
In the last 6 months…
+ we translated the Alpha Youth Series into 5 more languages: French, Polish, Ukrainian, Hungarian and Icelandic.
Alpha Youth, and how we can best reach the next generation for Jesus, was a key focus at our EMENA Leaders Gathering (ELG22). Dan Blythe, AI Global Youth Director, joined us to share about exciting global Alpha Youth developments, including plans for the Alpha Youth Series 3.0. We also heard from our brilliant EMENA Youth Co-ordinators, and Dez Johnston, our EMENA Alpha Youth Director.
Alpha Youth Ireland Survey
Alpha Ireland recently conducted an in-depth survey of all their partners who had run Alpha Youth, across churches and schools, finding that Alpha Youth is run in 8% of all secondary schools in Ireland.
“This represents a brilliant opportunity to build upon, and to connect local churches with these schools. We want the churches to be able to see the great work that is being done in schools locally, and to provide ongoing discipleship opportunities for those young people.”
– John Quinn, Director of Church Engagement for Alpha Ireland
Alpha Youth in the MENA context
Alpha’s work in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) currently spans 12 countries, including Turkey, Lebanon/the Levant, Israel, Egypt and the Gulf including Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
The Middle East population is much younger than that of Europe: the median age in the Middle East is around 27 years old; in Europe it is closer to 44 years old. In Egypt alone this year churches have run over 240 Youth Alphas, and Alpha Egypt have recently launched a TikTok channel which is already getting thousands of views.
With the recent translation of AYS into Hebrew, and the arrival of our new coordinator for Israel, who ran a training in Tel Aviv in May, we are hugely encouraged to see that Youth courses are now starting to run in different locations across Israel.
We are delighted to share that Rev. Dez Johnston, our part-time EMENA Youth Director, will now be full-time in this role, leading with a single focus on youth development and growth in the next season! Dez was formerly Alpha Scotland Director, and is a President of the Boys Brigade in the UK, father to three and husband to the amazing Fiona.
Watch Dez’s Alpha story here. You can also read about Fi’s inspirational cancer journey here.
Alpha Ireland have also hired a Director of Alpha Youth, Gerard Hanley, who will be building on the work that has already been done and developing new connections in the Alpha Youth space in Ireland.
Before joining Alpha Gerard worked as Youth Development Officer for the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin, and brings a wealth of experience to the role.