The Engage & Educate Fund is a €450,000 fund over three years created by Rethink Ireland in partnership with Mason Hayes & Curran and the Department of Rural and Community Development. The Department of Rural and Community Development via the Dormant Accounts Fund.
The objective of the fund is to find and back innovative projects that empower people through education with a focus on tackling the disabling effects on human potential of disadvantage, disability or migrant status.
Blue Diamond Drama Academy addresses the lack of third-level education and employment opportunities currently available for adults with intellectual disabilities. The project offers full and part-time courses in theatre training, along with work experience and employment opportunities. They are currently in the process of formalising their third-level accreditation process. Blue Diamond’s Theatre Company, which launched with One Love at Smock Alley in January 2019, will be one of the offers to address employability.
Tipperary Rural Travellers Project’s Family Learning Programme was created as a result of concerns for challenges Traveller children face in mainstream schooling, in particular, low literacy outcomes. This innovative approach involves close co-operation between children, their parents, teachers and educational workers from passionate members of the travelling community. This after-school programme for primary school students focuses on reading, writing and listening skills. The Family Learning Programme encourages children to celebrate and be proud of their culture.
The MUKISA Programme was set up to address the challenges of employment and integration for asylum seekers and refugees in Waterford. The project promotes integration and capacity building by offering QQI accredited training, English language practice and work experience in Waterford. The project also aims to build an appreciation of different cultures in order to foster mutual understanding and promote acceptance of diversity.
Teen-Turn provides role models and hands-on experience to teenage girls from disadvantaged and underrepresented communities in order to encourage and enable the kind of school performances that lead to post-secondary STEM courses and qualifications. Teen-Turn provides hands-on experience through work placements and after-school activities, near or in these communities, featuring female role models unlike presentations in schools or one-day events.
DCU Educational Trust’s Write to Read is a professional development model that supports teachers to design and deliver research-based literacy programmes for children. The project is currently working with 13 disadvantaged partner schools in Dublin. Its vision is for all children to have the opportunity to develop to their fullest potential regardless of their socio-economic status or their cultural background. It aims to support all children to emerge from primary school as confident, engaged readers, writers and independent thinkers with high expectations for themselves and their futures, and the tools, persistence and confidence to reach their highest aspirations