Youth and Education

The Offaly Traveller movement community consultation 2012 found that Traveller youth in Offaly lacked activities and clubs, experienced boredom often leading to substance misuse and/or getting involved in crime, experienced discrimination and bullying and a lack of support in education and exams.

One Offaly Traveller stated:

…More should be done for Traveller youth.  Money and funds should be invested in young people now, not when they are in jail- it costs thousands to keep a person in jail…

 

As a response, the Offaly Traveller Movement Youth programme engages in a process with young Travellers which empowers and builds their capacity to actively participate in community decision making, providing a social and leisure outlet for Traveller youth.  It allows us to raise awareness and develop understanding of the issues affecting young Travellers and it helps to increase young people’s self-esteem and self-confidence.   OTM Youth work is constantly being developed and includes the following:

  • Weekly youth clubs
  • Provision of After Schools Programme support to children in Primary Education
  • Handball programme for boys
  • Dedicated outreach work to families in Offaly with extra support to youth who are no longer in the education system
  • Development of Girls youth group which included supporting this group to fully organise an annual Traveller women’s night out
  • Support to young Travellers in organising Cultural Trips
  • Stay in Schools Programme with Exchange House, Dublin
  • Established  links with Birr Youth Café and St. Mary’s Youth Centre, Tullamore
  • Organising & providing seasonal events such as Halloween parties, Christmas Discos, Traveller youth Easter & Summer camps,  swimming and cinema
  • Organising & providing a Christmas Youth Activity Camp