Our Mission Statement
The central aim of the Kerry Travellers Health & Community Development Project (‘KTHCDP’) is to create a partnership between Travellers and settled people to challenge inequalities and to bring about positive change for the Traveller community at both an individual and institutional level.
The Project’s Strategic Aims
The KTHCDP is a county-wide endeavour, and has been established as a Community Development Project since 1996. Our work is based on an acknowledgement of the separate and distinct culture of the Traveller community, which informs all areas of work practice. We adopt a community development approach to all work. As such it involves:-
- On-going consultation with the Traveller community;
- The involvement of the Traveller community assessing its own needs;
- Developing the capacity of Travellers to be a part of the strategies, which address those needs;
- Combating poverty and marginalisation.
Our Voluntary Management Committee comprises of members from both the Traveller and settled communities. As well as having people with relevant skills and experience, we continually endeavour to have representation from the various Traveller communities around the county. The committee has a number of Sub Committees including: Finance, Staff Liaison, Health Action Zone and Community Development, which meet regularly to review the implementation of our work plan, support our staff and volunteers and continue to develop the Project.
Health Action Zone
Kerry Travellers Health & Community Development Project in partnership with HSE’s Local Health Office ran a number of Primary Health Care Training Programmes for Travellers in Kerry between 2002 and 2009. To consolidate what was achieved on these we decided to establish a Traveller Health Action Zone Project with the support of the HSE in late 2010. The overarching goal of this Project is to engage the Traveller Community and the Health Services in transforming Travellers’ health and well-being at local level. The HAZ is being used as a mechanism to improve the health and lifestyle of the Traveller community through a series health focused initiatives that build on existing services and facilities. Its core objectives are as follows:
- Improvement in the general health knowledge of Travellers
- Increase in community-based health initiatives to meet Travellers’ health needs
- Increase in health-promoting behaviour among Travellers
- Increase in Travellers’ awareness of Health Services and how to access them
- Increase in Travellers’ uptake of Health Services
- Enhancement in the delivery of health Services through increased awareness of Traveller-related issues within the Health Services, particulary among frontline staff
- Development in partnership structures with the local community, Health Services and relevant stakeholders
- Participation in the development of policy that affects Traveller health status
FÁS Community Employment Schemes
The Community Employment (CE) programme is designed to help the long-term unemployed and other disadvantaged people to get back to work by offering part-time and temporary placements in jobs based within local communities. The scheme is administered by FÁS employment services and employment programmes which were transferred to the Department of Social Protection in January 2012.
Travellers who are 18 years of age or over and getting Jobseeker’s Benefit, Jobseeker’s Allowance or One-Parent Family Payment for at least 1 year are entitled to apply for these placements. Travellers aged 16 and 17 who have spent 12 months in a Travellers Training Centre are also eligible.
Kerry Travellers Health & Community Development Project is a sub-sponsor of the Friends of Able Community Employment Scheme, from which we currently have five CE Learner participants. The programme has been a major boost to the Traveller community and complemented our work on the ground, particularly in developing links with a number of Family Resource Centres. It creates opportunities for Traveller participants to gain quality work experience and training as well as providing much-needed services in the areas of community work and office support. To read more about some of the great work local CE operatives have been involved with, take a look at the Friends of Able website here; and the Mitchels/Boherbee regeneration website here.