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Irish Traveller Movement Weekly News Update Friday 12th April 2013

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1. Date for your Diary: Irish Traveller Movement Annual General Meeting and Conference 11th & 12th June

2. ITM National Conference: Responding to the Traveller Accommodation Crisis, April 17th- only a few places left!

3. Traveller Pride Awards- book your place now!

4. Response from RTE in relation to complaints made to Prime Time

5. Donate to the Irish Traveller Movement online

6. Update from Cavan Traveller Movement

7. Schools invited to participate on Yellow Flag diversity programme- Schools back on Monday 8th & only 4 weeks left to encourage them to apply to take part-Closing Date MAY 1st

8. Traveller Counselling Service & call for the Women's Mini Marathon

9. Update from the ITM Coordinators Meeting- next meeting April Tuesday 23rd- venue confirmed as NWCI offices

10. Job Advertisement: Laois Travellers Action Group Project Administrator Part-time (8hours per week)

11. National Traveller MABS information: Pay as you go Meters

12. End Direct Provision Campaign

13. Let's Colour Programme

14. Use the ITM E-zine update to get your message across


1. Date for your Diary: Irish Traveller Movement Annual General Meeting and Conference 11th & 12th June

Hi all, just to put a date in your diaries for the Irish Traveller Movement AGM & conference which will take place on Tuesday 11th and Wednesday 12th June. Location, theme, agenda and further details will be announced very shortly, but we wanted you all to keep these dates free.

Remember, in order to attend the ITM AGM, you must be a fully paid up member of ITM (see attached). Can members print out the attached membership affilaition form and return it with a cheque or postal order (made out to Irish Traveller Movement) to ITM, 4/5 Eustace Street, Dublin 2

If you have any membership queries, email dwalsheitm@gmail.com

Thanks to all the groups who have affiliated already- much appreciated!

Details on motions to the AGM, nominations to the Central Group and workshop participation will ba made available in due course.



2. ITM National Conference: Responding to the Traveller Accommodation Crisis, April 17th- only a few places left!


   
 As you aware ITM's National Policy Subgroup are hosting a national conference Responding to the Traveller Accommodation Crisis, this was originally planned for the 16th of April but due to availability of suitable venues it will now take place on the 17th of April at 10.30 am- 3pm in Adams and Eves Church,Merchant Quay, Dublin.
 
Thank you to all those who have registered for our Conference Responding to the Traveller Accommodation Crisis 2013. It is now nearly booked out. We have 15 places left. If you want to attend we must have your name on our registration list.places are filling up fast!please get your completed form back to us by tuesday 1pm.We are looking forward to seeing you all there on this what will be a very important day for ITM members and Travellers in informing our strategy to respond to pressing Traveller Accommodation issues. For those not in a position to attend on the day we will be forward a report form the day to all our members once completed.

To ensure you have the opportunity to participate in the conference please email Rose Marie and Colette at rosemarieitm@gmail.com or itmaccommodation@gmail.com before Tuesday 15th April at 1pm

3. Traveller Pride Awards- book your place now!

As you all know the fourth Traveller Pride Awards, which award the achievements and contributions Travellers, make to their own community and to Irish society in areas such as;   Education, Music, Youth, Sports, Arts / Culture, Enterprise & Employment and Community will be held in Dublin on Thursday May 9th 2013 from 12 – 2pm in the Pillar Room, Rotunda Hospital, Dublin. It promises to be a fun day out with an opportuntiy to celebrate achievements in the community and special guest presenters. We're all very excited here and will announce some of our special guests.

To book a place, email dwalsheitm@gmail.com or keep linked in via Facebook for more updates.


4. Response from RTE in relation to complaints made to Prime Time

As many people were offended by the Prime Time programme which took place on March 6th, many complaints were made to RTE. ITM as an organisation made a detailed complaint to RTE and has recevied a response this week (as have individuals who also wrote in to RTE to express their views). The Irish Traveller Movement is considering its response and will liasie with other groups in relation to this

Thanks to all who took the time to have their voices heard, either as individuals or member organisations.


5. Donate to the Irish Traveller Movement online

Hi all, as many of you know there is a function on our website that allows people to make online donations to the work of the ITM. We had been contacted recently by someone experiencing difficulties with this and we are delighted to say that having contacted Paypal, this has been rectified. It's always great to get support from people within the Movement and it's very heartening to receive any donation, big or small.

If you want to donate online, you can click here to go to the ITM website and on the left hand side you will see a link to Paypal where you can pay by credit or debit card.

If you have any queries, email Chantelle for more details


6. Update from Cavan Traveller Movement


Cavan Traveller Movement  is currently organising  Cavan Traveller Pride Awards  to be   held on 21st May 2013 : This event will seek to promote the positive contribution Irish Travellers are making throughout County Cavan in terms of community, enterprise & employment, sports, arts, education & youth etc.

 

This event will seek to coincide with the launch of Traveller Pride Week here in Cavan and celebrate the achievements of Travellers over the past year in all of the above areas. 

 

Traveller Culture Awareness Training Workshop:  will be held in the Bridge St. Community Centre, Cavan Town. The aim of the training is to raise awareness of Traveller culture and way of life to frontline services; this will be delivered by members of the Cavan Traveller Movement.      

   

To date Cavan Traveller Movement application to peace III was successful and  it will move the organisation to the next phase, the key elements of work will be training and capacity building, the modules covered  as part of training will be as follows:

  • March -August -    Redefining member’s roles and responsibilities and defining the needs of the movement:   learning and development meeting other Traveller organisation
  • Team building
  • Community development
  • Presentation: representing the needs of the Traveller community
  • Racism and Traveller ethnicity   
  • Internalised oppression
  • Leaders and team work
  • Political lobbying
  • Influencing policy change
  • Feeding local issues into national forums                
  • Constitution & article of memorandum and association
  • Profiling the Cavan Traveller Movement
  • Developing an action plan 

In terms of coordination and planning, I will be in contact with other organisations & Traveller activists in terms of seeking expertise and support in the delivery of some key areas as listed below.  We also awaiting reply back from St Steven Green Trust for Traveller men initiates, watch this space

 

We are also currently identifying new members throughout Cavan in terms of  participating in the training  and development, if you are interested in being part of this Movement or can offer additional support and want to get involved contact me.  It’s important  note we have achieved so much in such short-time frame with so little in terms of resources and staff levels and am delighted with the work and commitment of all members who  have supporting the vision for a strong vibrant Traveller organisation, 

 

Again we are currently looking for the following information
 
  • Traveller Rural isolation and the impact & recommendations
  • best practice and governance 
  • Traveller initiatives
  • new initiatives being supported by Inter agency groups
  • Funding sources for sustainability 
  • Enterprise and employment initiatives
  • Initiatives with VEC youth  and adult education

Mentoring  We are also looking for a well established local Traveller organisation that working from human rights based approach that can fulfil a mentoring support role to us as a new emerging Traveller organisation, this would cover exchange visits , practice learning , inputs to our members , exchange  of personal , possible work  experiences ,  share  learning and challenges.   

Please reply to  cavantravmovement@gmail.com 

Thomas Maughan or Bernard Joyce members Cavan Traveller Movement 


7. Schools invited to participate on Yellow Flag diversity programme
- SCHOOLS BACK MON 8th & ONLY 4 WEEKS left to encourage them to apply to take part in Yellow Flag Programme!!!! CLOSING DATE MAY 1st


The Yellow Flag Programme is currently recruiting 15 new primary and secondary schools for September 2013 and we are looking for your support to help us identify schools that you think might be open to and would benefit from the Yellow Flag Programme.

The deadline for this round of applications is 1stof May 2013.

Application forms are available on our website www.yellowflag.ie/get_involved

Background to the Yellow Flag

The Yellow Flag programme is a practical 8 step school based programme, which provides a framework to develop a school environment where every child is valued and included and unfair racist bullying and discrimination is challenged. Please see www.yellowflag.ie for further information.

Some application criteria that we would like you to be aware of:

  • Priority is given to schools with Traveller students.
  • A voluntary contribution of €250 is requested from the school to go towards costs of support, resources, flags and travel expenses.
  • The ITM needs to secure a small grant of 3K to take on each new school. We don’t expect the school to come up with this amount but instead look to see if we can secure small grants from Local Authorities, Partnership Companies etc. In  previous years grants we have been able to take on schools through grants we received from the following local authorities:

Dublin City Council, South Dublin County Council, Fingal County Council, Dunlaoghaire Rathdown County Council, Wicklow County Council, Cavan County Council, Louth Leader Partnership and Galway Rural Development.

We need your help to support us to get continued support from the above local authorities but also to get support from other local authorities/partnership companies in your area.

Please call Paula Madden Yellow Flag Coordinator on 01 679 6577 / 087 241 0258 or email yellowflagprogramme@gmail.com for any further information and or to look at how we can work together to bring the Yellow Flag to schools in your area.

Thanks to all the groups who participated in the discussion this week in relation to how Traveller groups can support the Yellow Flag, it was a brilliant discussion, pictures of which can be found on our Facebook page


8. Traveller Counselling Service & call for the Women's Mini Marathon

Hello Everyone

Its that time of year again and no better excuse to get exercising and fit for the summer ahead than the Flora Women's Mini Marathon.  Once again we are looking for people to run, jog or walk the 10km Flora Women’s Mini Marathon to raise some much needed funds for the Traveller Counselling Service.  This could be the perfect opportunity to start exercising and a great opportunity to link in with friends and family in an event that raises funds for the Traveller Counselling Service.   

The money raised last year went towards the setting up and launch of our website and also went directly towards the provision of counselling  hours to members of the Traveller Community.  Mental health is a very real concern within the community with suicide rates among young male Travellers almost seven times higher than they are within the settled population.  The money that you raise will go towards the continued provision of counselling to Travellers who are dealing with issues such as bereavement, depression, relationship issues,  violence and addiction to name but a few. 

As this is a women's event we are particularly interested in bringing together as many Traveller women as we can to join us on the day so please pass this info on to your friends and family and all that you think might be interested.   We are very keen to promote this event among Traveller women so therefore would be grateful if you could ensure that the Traveller women in your area, particularly those who don'e have access to e-mail are made aware of this event and our campaign to engage as many Traveller women as we can.  We are hoping to increase our numbers each year and turn this into an annual social event that brings Traveller women in the community together, gets us out in the open and also raises funds for a very worthwhile service within the community. 


This is a fun and easy going event with thousands of women of all ages and backgrounds from across the country coming together to raise funds for a variety of very worthwhile causes.  Unless you intend to run or jog, it doesn't require any real training  and the vast majority of participants walk - so please don't be put off by the word "marathon"! 


The race itself takes place at 2.00pm on the the 3rd June, which is a bank holiday Monday, though the closing date for entries in April 24th.  It is most important that you are registered well before this date to ensure you don't miss out as we had a number of women disappointed last year as there is a  limit on the number of entries into the event and this was reached well before the closing date.  You can read more about the event and you can enter on line through the following link http://www.florawomensminimarathon.ie/, or you can register using the entry forms in the Evening Herald every Wednesday and Saturday.  There is an entry fee of €18.00 which you can either take our of the sponsorship money that you raise or you can contribute it to the service by paying it yourself. 


So - give yourself that extra push, dust off your walking or running shoes and get going for the Traveller Counselling Service!  If you are interested, please send us back your details so that we can ensure that you and your friends are registered before the closing date which is April 24th.  Details can be either sent by e-mail to this address or by post to Traveller Counselling Service, 6 New Cabra Road, Phibsborough, Dublin 7.  If you have any questions just send us an e-mail


Many thanks for your continued support and we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on 3rd June.

Thomas McCann


9. Update from the ITM Coordinators Meeting- next meeting April Tuesday 23rd

The second meeting of coordinators of ITM members took place on 5th March. Building on the meeting in January, it was agreed that this space would be useful and allow coordinators to come together to look at the role of a Traveller organisation, the role of the coordinator within that and how best to share information and best practice among coordinators.

One of the issues that members were keen to look at was collating best practice in relation to staff/organisational handbooks for Traveller organistions and bring these ideas back to the group. We are calling on groups to share their handbooks in order to build a really strong set of policies specific to the work of a local Traveller organisation. If ITM members could email adelitabtdg@gmail.com and once this is collated it will be put on the members' section of the ITM website.

The next meeting will take place on the 23rd April from 11am-1pm in Dublin. Venue will be confirmed in due course, for more details email dwalsheitm@gmail.com


10. Job Advertisement: Laois Travellers Action Group Project Administrator Part-time (8hours per week)

Laois Travellers Action Group (LTAG) was founded in 1996 under the name Laois Travellers Views to work for the equal rights of Travellers living in the county.  LTAG is looking to employ an administrator to carry the project administration and accountancy tasks and support the co-ordinator in administration related tasks. This is a part-time position to be carried over two days (4 hours each day).

The purpose of the post will be:

  • To carry out the administration tasks of the project
  • Maintain accountancy records and submit financial reports.
  • Filing and record keeping/ database organisation.
  • Record, compile, and distribute minutes of meetings
  • Liaise with members of the board of management and directors.
  • To submit reports.
  • Organise project’s supplies
  • Coordinate maintenance of the office (equipment, repairs, etc)
  • To report to funders and Identify funding opportunities, submit funding applications and report to funders whenever necessary.
  • Other clerical duties
  • Contact with Auditor
  • Organise meetings, agendas and support in the organisation of project’s events.
  • Maintain communication with media and prepare press releases

The successful applicant will be required to have:     
  • Computer skills and knowledge of relevant software.
  • knowledge of principles and practices of basic office management
  • knowledge of clerical and administrative procedures and systems such as filing and record keeping
  • Accountancy skills
  • Excellent communication, facilitation and interpersonal skills
  • Report writing skills

Desirable: A knowledge of community development ethos and practices.  Commitment to human rights and social justice and to work from an anti-racist work perspective


Please submit a Curriculum Vitae and a detailed cover letter outlining qualifications, experience and skills specific to the position to the LTAG Coordinator at: laoistravellers@gmail.com by Monday 22nd  of April . Interviews will be held on Thursday 2nd of May.
This post is funded by the HSE.

Laois Travellers Action Group is an equal opportunities employer.


11. National Traveller MABS information: Pay as you go Meters

All energy suppliers of gas and electricity are obliged to offer customers who are in financial difficulty a ‘Pay as you go Meter’.  Financial difficulty, as stated by the Commission for Energy Regulations (CER), is when a household is ‘unable to make payments without assistance and in constant arrears”.   Additionally, pay as you meters should be made available to people who ‘just about manage to pay their bills but who may risk going without other essential household items in the process’.

The CER state that

1.    A customer must be offered a meter before moving to the disconnection process;
2.    Must is applicable even if an energy supplier is not presently providing them;
3.    Once a customer accepts a meter, even if not immediately available, then they cannot be disconnected.
4.    If a meter is not immediately available customers should be placed on an installation list.

Exceptions: In some cases a Pay as you go Meter is not possible or appropriate, e.g.: some apartment blocks; older people unable to buy credit; those in need of constant supply; pending permission from landlords; dual night/day tariffs.  In such cases the supplier is still obliged to offer a manageable payment plan prior to disconnection.

Where a disconnection has already occurred a payment is always required to secure reconnection, however a Pay as you go  Meter may be requested in order to deal with the outstanding debt and future budgeting.

More details on these meters can be found here

If you are experiencing financial difficulty in paying your energy bills, you should make an appointment with your local MABS (Money Advice and Budgeting Service).  Details of all local offices can be found here - Alternatively, you can call National Traveller MABS at 0761 07 2230 for details on your local service.


12. End Direct Provision Campaign

The IRC working with Asylum Seekers and Refugees and others around the country is calling for nationwide campaign to End Direct Provision.  The recent media coverage of the issues of Direct Provision, particularly the comparisons with the Magdalene Laundries, offers an opportunity to push for real change to the system. The IRC is also working with individual politicians and NGOs within the DP Forum are committed to this already.  We think public and political awareness of the problems with DP are finally coming to the fore and that now is the time to demand an end to DP.

  • We are coordinating a national campaign asking for review and reform of DP and we hope that you will come on board with a National Day of Action on DP to take place on Tuesday 23rd April.
  • The message of the campaign is: ‘End institutional living.  D P: No place to call home.’  We will be calling for an investigation into DP and reform of the reception system.
  • On 23 April 2013, we will be sending a message to the Government that we, the people who live in Ireland, want an end to DP.  We are working with residents in each DP centre and partner organisations to hold gatherings in solidarity with residents of DP at locations across the country.  We will provide support and materials for organisation, messaging and publicity, but we are hoping that each group will bring their own creative touch to their gathering which will then be broadcast on YouTube and sent to local TDs and the ministers responsible for DP.  We are inviting people who are not coordinating regional events to the Dublin gathering and children in living Direct Provision will present their own messages to the Minister for Justice or his representative calling for review and reform of DP
  • This will not only be an on the ground campaign but a coordinated nationwide social media campaign to end DP, which we believe has potential to go viral, with your help.
  • The IRC is holding a planning meeting and training for campaign organisers on Wednesday, 3 April 2013 in Dublin, 11am – 4pm.  We will be able to assist with transport costs.
For more information please  contact:
Sue Colan
Paula Quirke
Sharon Waters
Lassane Ouedraogo
Reuben Hambakachere
Grace Kennedy
Tel: 01 764 5854


13. Let's Colour Programme

Let’s Colour is open to community groups, charities, individuals and groups of friends in Ireland who have the desire and determination to make a difference in their community.
 
If you have a community space that you’d like to brighten up, then nominate your project below. If your project is chosen, you’ll receive the paint you need for free. But hurry, the deadline for applications is the 7th May 2013.
 
Spaces and buildings that are used by the community, and are not derelict, residential or commercial are all eligible

For full terms and conditions, see our FAQs section.

 
14. Use the ITM E-zine update to get your message across

All ITM members who wish to circulate positions available and upcoming events etc can simply send information to be circulated to the membership. 

Please send details and information to itm.ezine@gmail.com to be included into the next e-zine. Deadline for inclusion of material is Thursday 5pm of each week.