Getting to the heart of Traveller Identity and Culture in the heart of Ireland

20 September 2016

 The Travellers’ Times recently joined Gypsy and Traveller organisations in Athlone, Ireland, to discuss and design a ground-breaking new learning and training programme intended for Gypsies and Travellers and those who work with the communities wishing to take an accredited course that explores their heritage, culture and identity.

The Travellers’ Times’ Communications Assistant, Lisa Smith said, “The workshop was a wonderful opportunity to meet with and strengthen our relations with Traveller organisations and those working with Travellers from across Ireland and Northern Ireland.”  Lisa went on to say, “As well as listening to older members of the community, I was so inspired by the strong voices of the many young Travellers present, and how they described what they needed to thrive in today’s society.”

The discussions started on Tuesday 6th September with working groups around the topic of identity and culture in the Traveller and Pavee community. A number of key organisations and stakeholders took part and in attendance were representatives from Involve; An Munia Tober, NI; Youth Work Ireland; Pavee Point; Norcensus, Norway; The Travellers’ Times; and Youth Action Northern Ireland.

The residential development workshop had specific objectives to cover ranging from reviewing the current material regarding Gypsy and Traveller Culture to assess its authenticity, relevance and who the end users of a new accredited course should be.

The course is intended to become a landmark learning and training resource in Ireland and the UK for Travellers themselves and all those that work with, and support the community.  In addition, those in attendance debated and outlined priorities for specific programmes that would meet the needs of Gypsy and Traveller communities in 2016 and beyond.