SKDP has this week issued a statement highlighting the major cuts that have been made to funding available under the new round of LEADER funding. They point out that the proposed budget cuts for Kerry are greater than 50% when compared to the previous programme and are calling on Community & Voluntary Groups, along with all other interested stakeholders, to have their voices heard in opposition to these proposed cuts.
A new conversational English language class – Failte Isteach – being run in Killarney through South Kerry Development Partnership Ltd. in conjunction with Third Age has attracted a large number of people from many countries. The class is aimed at migrants who do not have English as their main language.
The Failte Isteach programme being run in Killarney was developed by the active retired group Third Age based in County Meath. They first began the initiative as a small project in the village of Summerhill in 2006 with the aim of helping those in the migrant communities in that area develop a confidence in speaking English as well as a means of helping encourage integration within the different communities. It has since spread around the country to other communities and is being implemented in the greater Killarney area by SKDP.
Community Development Manager Paul O’Raw described how the basis of the programme is the group of trained volunteer tutors who come in to work with the students attending. “We are lucky to have 7 trained tutors on the programme in Killarney at present and they are working with some 25 students who are attending the course” Paul said. He added that the course runs for circa 10 weeks and is for around 2 hours a week with the students having a book that will assist them developing their skills further during the course of the week.
“This initiative is part of the work being undertaken by SKDP under the new SCIAP programme which is aimed at encouraging integration between those who have come to live in Ireland and the local communities in whose areas they are resident” Paul said. “By helping them get a better understanding of English and helping them develop confidence in its usage we hope it will assist people with their employment and career prospects, as well as encouraging them to get involved in other activities in the communities in which they have settled and help them develop new friendships with others in the area” Paul said.
The current course is full but it is planned to start a new course in September which will be well advertised in advance to make sure we get as many as possible to participate Paul concluded.
Front L-R: Paul O’Raw (Community Development Manager SKDP); Bernie Cabry (Tutor); Halina Donjinkowska (participant); Claire Dalton (Third Age – Facilitator)
Back L-R: Zenon Huszynski (participant); Kasia Niezgoda (participant); Patrick Henicz (participant)