Taking part in a new series of the RTÉ programme Raised by the Village left one child saying it has made him want to be a farmer.
Of his week on a farm in Ballintubber, Co. Roscommon, he said: “Everyone was so nice it made me start to be nice. It’s made me want to be a farmer. I hated it at first and I wanted to go home but I’m really glad I stayed.
The village made me feel that I have potential, and I really never thought that about myself before.
Warren from Lucan went to stay with the Garvey family in Ballintubber. Dad Alan is a sheep farmer and horticulturist and established the ‘Walking and Talking’ teen mental health initiative.
Mum, Majella, is a teaching assistant, coaches camogie and is a former Roscommon Rose. They have two children, Aaron and Rhona, both still in school.
As the saying goes: ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’ The question being raised in this series is whether two tight-knit Irish rural communities can help a pair of city kids get their lives back on track.
With so many Irish children now raised in cities, some families find themselves living without the support of a strong community, the programme makers said. Along with the usual teenage pressures, growing up in the busy urban sprawl can make some city teens more stressed and difficult to live with, they said.
Raised by the Village tells the story of two city families who need significant help with parenting and are taking drastic steps to get it. In a last ditch attempt to rein in their kids, they move them to the heart of the countryside, allowing them to be ‘raised by the village’.
Turning 13 in November, Warren is one of six children. His family live in a three-bedroom house on an estate in Lucan, west Dublin. Warren’s parents said they worry constantly for the safety of their kids, particularly Warren.
Said to be unsettled at home and at school, designer labels are a preoccupation, according to the programme, with slagging on the streets the result of non-conforming, and fitting in being key.
The programme hears that for all the concerns, Warren is a bright child. His parents worry that his potential is being squandered on the streets amid the menacing threat of drug gangs recruiting kids his age with designer garb.
Raised by the Village looks at whether the chance to take time out in the countryside can help reroute the Dublin child who is said to be at a crossroads.
Meanwhile, Jordan is 16 and lives in Darndale, north Dublin, with her mum Amanda, a single mother of four. Jordan is the eldest. She has a 13-year-old sister and two younger brothers aged 10 and six.
Jordan is said to have stopped going to school last Christmas and to not have any interests outside of make-up and social media. With no qualifications, Amanda was worried about her daughter’s future.
Struggling to make a living as an office cleaner, Amanda is adamant that she doesn’t want her daughter to repeat her pattern.
Before going to stay on the farm of John and Catriona Carley, Jordan was said to have been spending her days sleeping and mooching around on her phone. Without a routine she was reportedly losing confidence in herself, leaving her listless.
Raised By The Village will be shown on RTÉ 1 this Sunday, September 29, at 6:30pm.