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Peace Impact Programme - Playlist

Fáilte Abhaile

on .

Failte Abhaile

Fáilte Abhaile – ‘Welcome Home’ is a Dundalk based support group for political ex-prisoners, displaced people and their families, predominantly located in areas of high social deprivation and unemployment in County Louth including Muirhevnamor and Cox’s Demesne, Dundalk. This is a constituency of over 2,000 people in County Louth.

The Fund provided financial assistance under the Peace Impact Programme towards the cost of running practical
training and up-skilling courses based around identified employability needs. This nine month project addresses
the problems of unemployment and increasing employability in that it focuses on tackling social exclusion amongst marginalised people residing in designated disadvantaged urban areas in County Louth.

It empowers them and gives them the confidence, skills and knowledge as individuals to move forward, become self-reliant and grasp the opportunities peace has brought. It also gives them the skills necessary to find solutions to achieve public good and thereby have a distinct and valuable role to play in helping create a strong, sustainable, peaceful and socially inclusive society.

The project has a strong education/ economic/employment focus aiming to provide practical skills in areas that
have been identified by members of the group that are relevant to their needs but which may be financially out of reach of individuals and that do not duplicate other statutory training courses.

Examples of training courses to date include Train the Trainer, European Computer Driving Licence ECDL for 16 community workers, official certification for gas workers and other job specific accredited training courses. These included psychology, social studies, health and social care and environmental.

Group training in peace building is also provided to build capacity amongst participants to engage in conflict transformation and to engage with a broad and diverse range of opinion and background. Fáilte Abhaile adopt an inclusive approach and participation in courses is open to non-members; this allows for increased interaction between this community and the wider local community to help break down barriers and build increasing cooperation and mutual understanding.

Half way through the project, over 50 participants, with an even gender split, have received training and gained skills to help increase their prospects of finding employment or remaining in employment. The proposed outputs set down for the project, of 70 people achieving at least one accreditation, will be exceeded by some distance when planned training and associated accreditation is completed.

Kevin Mulgrew, Project co-ordinator says that: “The International Fund for Ireland’s support for this project has had a real and meaningful impact in areas of high social deprivation and unemployment in County Louth. It has enabled a significant number of individuals to pursue academic and vocational education/training which will open up new opportunities or stabilise their present employment status. A major aspect of this funding is the ability to adapt to meet new and emerging needs. Already we have positive outcomes in terms of employment and retention in employment in addition to people being able to participate in academic and vocational training.”