Kerry Travellers Health and Community Development Project have the vision of being a Traveller-led organisation, where Traveller ethnicity is championed, and where Travellers are proud of their identity and are actively engaged in community life.
Our mission is to work towards developing a clear and pro-active position in relation to Traveller issues and rights so as to improve the quality of life of the Traveller Community in Kerry.
- We will always do our best to work from an understanding that Travellers are an ethnic minority with a distinct culture and that this should be taken into account in the provision of services.
- We will always strive to be guided by Community Development Principles in our work practice.
- We will always aspire to have a collective more than an individual focus to our work, working with and supporting groups of people to identify (if it is not already evident) a common need; developing the Community’s capacity and confidence to address the identified needs, all the time ensuring that the Community takes ownership of the solution or process to effectively address its needs.
- We will always make every effort to ensure the effective participation of Travellers at all levels in the organisation and to have over 50% Traveller membership on our Management Committee.
- We will always try to develop community-based activities that are needs-based, progressive and in line with the life cycle and experiences of the Traveller Community.
- We will always be willing to work in partnership with the Traveller Community, Traveller Organisations, Service Providers and other Stakeholders to bring about positive change for the Traveller Community in the context of the findings of the All-Ireland Traveller Health Study and other associated research and learning.
We at Kerry Travellers Health and Community Development Project believe:
- Every person and community can play an active role in creating conditions for a just and equal society where human rights are promoted and all forms of discrimination are challenged.
- Our work is about the empowerment of individuals and communities, working with people to enable them to become active participants in taking more control of the direction of their lives.
- In working for equality, we work from the starting point that while people are not the same, they are all of equal worth and importance and are, therefore, equally worthy of respect and acknowledgement. We recognise our responsibility to challenge the oppression and exclusion of individuals and groups by institutions and society that leads to discrimination against Travellers.
- We view participation as a range of activity from information sharing through capacity building and empowerment to active engagement and meaningful participation in democratic processes.
- We recognise that a partnership between Traveller and Settled people requires a deep understanding of power dynamics and equality. We are aware that for Travellers to thrive as equals in this partnership model there must be ongoing reflection and organisational development to ensure that the structures, policies and practices of the organisation contribute to an equal partnership.
- Working through a partnership model (Travellers and Settled people), brings at least two different cultures and ways of working and living together. We realise that the dominant settled culture needs to ensure that Traveller culture is valued and that the systems, policies and procedures do not deter, undermine or ignore Travellers from fully participating in all levels of the organisation.
- We view health in a holistic way as a “complete state of physical, mental and social well-being”.