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Offaly Traveller Movement Youth Project wins National Award

Offaly Traveller Movement (OTM) Youth Project has been awarded Overall Junior Winner at the Irish Cancer Society X-HALE Youth Awards 2019. Over 400 young people from 56 youth groups across 22 counties took part in the competition with a screening of the films, and awards ceremony held in the Helix, Dublin on July 3rd,  All the entrants wrote, directed and starred in their films, as well promoted their anti-smoking campaign within  their communities.

OTM Youth Project is small Traveller specific youth group within the wider Offaly Traveller Movement community development organisation, located in Bury Quay, Tullamore. With limited resources, the project provides young Travellers with informal, social, peer and educational support and a culturally appropriate platform for youth development and participation.

OTM youth leaders received comprehensive training from the Irish Cancer Society and delivered the X-HALE programme on smoking prevention and education to the group, who participated in the programme, online campaign and production of their film. The group scooped the award for its short film “Take Two” which focused on the differences between the experiences of two lives, a smoker and a non-smoker.

The theme of the short film was highlighting the different experiences of smokers and non-smokers in areas of life such as physical aspects like beauty and fitness, and the financial impact of smoking. The dynamics explored were those of a relatable nature to young people, urging them to think twice, and showing the positive and negative sides of the story. Coupled with some creativity and light humour, the group aimed to spark the interest of other young people in delivering their message.

OTM youth have been making waves in both local and national media since their win and have been interviewed live on Midlands Radio 3. The young people involved were Annalisha Ward, Rachel McDonagh, Casey Lee Kavanagh, Chantelle Geoghan, Abigail McDonagh, and Cordelia Joyce, with OTM youth leaders Saranne Lovett and Elizabeth Doyle. Well done to all for your fantastic achievement and in leading the way, and inspiring other Traveller young people to promote positive messages in their communities.

 You can view the short film at : https://youtu.be/_Y9w6OcvtXU

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