Cavan and Monaghan Education and Training Board launched the local “Journeys” programme for Cavan and Monaghan on 3rd August in the Garage theatre, Monaghan. The project has received €5m from the European Union’s PEACE IV Programme, which is managed by the Special EU Programmes Body. The Cavan and Monaghan part of this project has received €544,000 and will be in operation for the next four years.
“Journeys” is a collaborative project between Springboard Opportunities limited, Belfast, Roe Valley Residents Association, Limavady and Cavan and Monaghan ETB. The project represents cross-community and cross-border based projects using a variety of programming activity to engage marginalised young people with the aim of developing soft skills and a respect for diversity.
The focus is on enhancing the capacity of young people to form positive and effective relationships of a different background and make a positive contribution to building a cohesive society.
At present CMETB, in Partnership with Youth work Ireland Cavan and Monaghan, who lead out on the project locally, have 24 young people aged between 14 – 24 years of age and it is anticipated that at the end of the project participants will have greater personal and social capabilities, value and engage positively with people of diverse backgrounds and communities, and contribute to family, community and society as active citizens.
Details of two projects the young people will be discussing on the day includes the work they undertook with Cavan homeless and St. Mary’s Nursing home in Castleblayney. The young people need to be complemented on such work and raising awareness of issues within our both counties.
Minister Heather Humphrey will be launching the programme on the day. At the launch of the project Gina McIntyre, CEO of the SEUPB said: “By participating in this project children and young people who have experienced social exclusion or marginalisation will be able to build up their self-esteem, resilience and understanding of people from a different background and culture. It will make a real difference in their lives and encourage them to share what they have learned with their own families and the communities in which they live, on both sides of the border. In doing so they will become the architects of change for a more forward thinking and inclusive society.”
As a project worker working directly with these young people, Karen Tonry spoke about her amazing experience. We always underestimate young people and this group have out done every expectation we had of them. Journeys is a fantastically diverse programme, which challenges young people to come out of their comfort zones to develop skills and create new experiences. Journeys is an amazing stepping stone that equips young person for adulthood. The work, these young people have done from the beginning and seeing their own journeys from the start has been extraordinary. We are extremely proud of the group of young people participating in the journeys programme and they should be extremely proud of themselves.
A young person participating in the programme stated: “Journeys has provided me with opportunities that has surprised me. The programme has created new experiences for me, which I didn’t think I’d like. Journeys has opened up new ideas for me, which I will hopefully continue to explore.”
Match-funding for the Journey’s project has been provided by The Executive Office in Northern Ireland and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs in Ireland.