Community Work Ireland: working collectively to support and promote community work as a means of addressing poverty, social exclusion and inequality and advancing human rights
Welcome to the February edition of CWI Newsflash. In this edition:
  • WCDC2018 Keynote Speeches
  • 1916 Higher Education Bursary Fund for marginalized students
  • CWI Rohingya Solidarity - Thinking Globally, Acting Locally
  • The Community Foundation for Ireland - Older Person's Fund
  • Mna na hÉireann Fund
  • Have Your Say - the role of Europe in supporting a more equal society
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WCDC2018 Keynote Speeches

Were you at the World Community Development Conference 2018 and like to listen again to some of the wonderful keynote speeches again? Or did you miss the conference and would like to listen to the likes of Mary Robinson, Bernadette McAliskey, Lynn Segal, Jim Ife, Peter Westoby and many more? You can now watch the videos of all the keynote speeches by following the link below.

WCDC2018 Keynote Speeches

1916 Bursary Fund

Announced by the then Minister for Education and Skills in December 2017, the aim of the 1916 Bursary Fund is to encourage participation and success by students from sections of society that are significantly under-represented in higher education.

The  Fund will supports students from target groups who are currently under-represented in higher education over the course of three years of study. It provides them with a bursary of €5,000 per academic year to support them in their studies. A significant proportion of these students will be lone parents and those studying both part-time and full-time are eligible to apply. An individual can be in receipt of both a 1916 bursary and a SUSI grant, if they are eligible. For more information or to make an application please follow the link below.

More Info
Thinking Globally, Acting Locally
CWI Rohingya Solidarity

On Monday February 11th 2019 Galway City Council voted to rescind the Freedom of the City awarded in 2005 to Aung San Suu Kyi, de facto leader of the Myanmar government. She was then under house arrest from which she was released only in 2010, and was being hailed globally as a hero and future democratic leader of her country (previously known as Burma) Since then after long negotiations with the military she has assumed the position of State Councillor and in effect head of state.

The Rohingya are a mainly Muslim minority’s ethnic group living mostly in the northern region of Rakhine State Myanmar. They have been described by the UN as one of the world’s most persecuted minorities and were denied citizenship by the govt of Myanmar in 1982. Since then they have regularly been the target of persecution by the govt and nationalist Buddhists.

Over 700,000  Rohingya fled to Bangladesh-joining the approx 300,000 already in Cox’s Bazaar- from the ethnic and religious persecution of Myanmar’s security forces in their “clearance operations” against insurgents. The well documented persecution included related acts of
humiliation, violence, torture, mass rapes, killings and incitement of hatred including through the use of Facebook and other social-media

Aung San Sun Kyi’s silence regarding these atrocities, her ongoing refusal to grant citizenship to the Rohingya or even to call them by that name
(which they are forbidden to use in Myanmar) have been reinforced by her recent agreement to a further crackdown by the military or Tatmadaw as they are known. Her actions have been condemned by world human rights leaders including Archbishop Tutu who said that if the price of political power is her silence then that price is too steep. The then UN High Commissioner for Human Rights also likened the ethnic cleansing in Rakhine to genocide (May 2017) and the report of the Independent  UN Human Rights Council Investigation called for charges of genocide to be investigated against named generals (August 2018)

CWI supported our member group Rohingya Action Ireland, the Carlow based group of Rohingya refugees and their supporters, in their efforts to get expression of Galway City solidarity with their plight. CWI wrote to all Galway City councillors ahead of the Feb 11th vote and were in direct communication with Mayor Neil Mc Neilis regarding the vote. The action taken in 2005 was acknowledged. The removal of the Freedom of the City was now explained as being required to express again solidarity with all concerned with promoting peace with justice and minority recognition in Myanmar. Last year, as outlined previously,  CWI supported the involvement of the Rohingya in the World Community Development Conference at Maynooth University in June 2018 in particular through facilitating the showing of their powerful
photographic exhibition visited at the conference by Mary Robinson, Minister Seán Kyne and many others.

These actions are a clear and ongoing expression of the global solidarity which has always been a feature of CWI’s work and was particularly visible in our solidarity global struggles through the decades. Such direct solidarity is an increasingly important feature of current community work and fundamentally required to make thinking globally and acting locally other than a good slogan.

Solidarity may not solve the problems but the global publicity for the Galway vote sent yet again a message to Aung San Sun Kyi  about her responsibility to create conditions for a just way forward. Another clear message of global concern was sent to the Rohingya in both Rakhine and the refugee camps, they are not forgotten.

Well done to Galway City Council - a fitting reflection of the recently adopted Galway Council Statement on Equality and Human Rights

The Community Foundation for Ireland has announced the Older Persons’ Fund. This is a long-term philanthropic fund which promotes the civic engagement of older people, as a means of working towards making a difference in their communities.

The Fund builds on the CFI long-standing engagement and commitment to supporting older people in their communities, having already invested over €1m in this area to date.

In 2019, there are two categories that that grants are available for:

  • Inclusion of older people in active citizenship roles – Grants of up to €7,500 will be available to organisations working towards inclusion of older people in active citizenship roles
  • Supporting older peoples’ voices at local & national level – Grants of up to €7,500 will available to organisations working towards supporting older peoples’ engagement in advocacy.
Further Info & Download Application
The Mná na hÉireann, Women of Ireland Fund is a €1.8 Million Fund created by Social Innovation Fund Ireland in partnership with Bank of America and the Department of Rural and Community Development. The Department of Rural and Community Development provides match funding for all philanthropic funds raised by Social Innovation Fund Ireland, via the Dormant Accounts Fund.

There are calls for applications from organisations that support and empower women to progress their education or progress into new or more sustainable employment.
Further Info & Download Application
European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN) Ireland in association with the European Commission Representation in Ireland invite you to a Citizen’s Dialogue workshop
Have your say!
“What is the role of the EU in supporting
a more equal society?”

Almost 113 million people, or over 22% of the EU population, are at risk poverty and social exclusion. In Ireland approximately 750,000 people are at-risk of poverty. In a year when the European Parliament elections take place in a Europe which faces many challenges, including Brexit, migration, climate change and delivering social rights, these citizen’s dialogue workshops will ask how can we strengthen social solidarity and ensure that no-one is left behind.  These workshops are open to everyone and will provide a good opportunity for discussion on the issues.
The workshops are free and all are welcome.
Event details
19th March Cork Imperial Hotel, South Mall, Cork City Registration at 9:30am
Workshop 10am-1pm
26th March Galway Harbour Hotel, New Dock Road, Galway City Registration at 9:30am
Workshop 10am-1pm
28th March Dublin F2 Centre, 3 Reuben Plaza, Rialto, Dublin 8 Registration at 9:30am
Workshop 10am-1pm
A light lunch will be provided at the end
  • Hugh Frazer, Adjunct Professor in the Department of Applied Social Studies, Maynooth University.  Hugh is the former coordinator of the European Social Policy Network which advises the European Commission on social policy and former Director of the Combat Poverty Agency.
  • Paul Ginnell, Director of European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN) Ireland
  • Panel members: Representatives from the European Commission and from community and voluntary organisations 
Registration: If you would like to attend any of the workshops you can register here.
CWI work is supported by the Support Scheme for National Organisations (SSNO)
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