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‘Vital to Support Grassroots Groups to Chart their Path from Disadvantage’

Joe O’Brien TD, Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development named 7 applicant organisations to take part in a pilot Community Development Programme.

The aim of this €1m pilot programme is to trial community led interventions that address poverty, social exclusion and inequality, and promote human rights. The fund will advance a Programme for Government commitment.

The announcement took place at Longford Community Resources CLG which hosts one of the successful projects – a Roma led project to enhance integration for members of the Roma community locally and in wider society generally

Applications to take part in the programme were received from over 120 community development organisations. The projects chosen are based in Donegal, Clare, Dublin, Kilkenny, Longford, Wexford and Meath/Louth and will provide supports to Travellers, women living in poverty, migrants and people with disabilities.

Minister O’Brien said:

“I am delighted to announce the organisations that have been successful in receiving funding under this pilot Community Development Programme. I know that communities themselves are best placed to identify needs and to work collaboratively to develop pathways to fully access their rights. It is hugely important that those voices that are most marginalised in society are given opportunities to engage and help develop activities that they know will help enhance their lived experiences and bring their voice to the table when decisions are being made.”

“I wanted to launch this programme with the Roma focused community development project because as a group they are likely the most marginalised and excluded group in Ireland. We must do better as a whole in society for groups that suffer particularly high levels of disadvantage and marginalisation. This programme is about building the capacity of some of those grassroots groups most excluded to support them to chart their path from disadvantage. This is a signal from government that we are building a recovery from Covid with the most social excluded to the fore.”

“It’s clear from the number and quality of applications for this programme that there is a strong need among marginalised communities across the country for the supports to build a better life for themselves. My officials will be engaging with the projects that were unsuccessful this time to explore other ways of supporting their proposals. This is an initial step in recasting a grassroots community led approach to tackling disadvantage that will complement other local and national government measures to address social exclusion.”

“It’s important that all of the successful projects are impactful and make a real difference as that can inform a potential growth of a community-led approach to the significant social challenges we are facing.”

Longford Community Resources, in partnership with other organisations will assist in addressing issues and concerns facing families in Roma and New Communities. As the project develops and members of the Roma and New Communities take ownership of it, they will begin to have their voice heard and be able to play a more proactive and integrated role in society.

The Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs) will also play a key role in the pilot programme, providing support and introducing organisations to other potential funders, helping to integrate the organisation with other bodies delivering similar services and facilitating networking.

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