Offaly Traveller Movement youth project provides young Travellers with informal, social and educational support, and a platform for youth development. OTM youth aims to respond to the needs of young Travellers through the imperative provision of culturally appropriate social outlet, and a safe space, for those from the ages of 10 and over.
In 2014, OTM commissioned research in order to explore the needs of young Travellers in Offaly county. The youth needs analysis has proved instrumental in identifying and responding to key issues within our resources, and largely informs the work of the youth team. OTM youth programmes engage 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. Our work encompasses raising awareness and developing understanding of the issues affecting young Travellers and increasing young people’s self-esteem and confidence. In 2018, OTM developed a new and dynamic Youth Strategy which will also inform our future work.
OTM youth work activities includes the following:
- Weekly youth drop in clubs for both primary and secondary school students.
- Various stand-alone projects throughout the year including programmes around drama, film, health etc.
- Physical health and sport related programmes including soccer, handball, swimming, fitness etc.
- Links with educational institutions, support and advice around education.
- Liaising with relevant youth services and engaging with national initiatives.
- Team building events and activities. Trips to both indoor and outdoor activity centres.
- Dedicated Traveller youth summer project each year.
- Organising & providing seasonal events for Halloween, Christmas, Easter etc.