Rethink Ireland and Mason Hayes & Curran announce Awardees of €1.2m Engage & Educate Fund

€1.2m Fund for 2021-2024 supports game changing educational opportunities for marginalised communities

The Engage and Educate Fund 2021-2024 Awardees. Photo: Conor McCabe

The Awardees of the €1.2m Engage & Educate Fund 2021-2024 have been announced today in partnership with Mason Hayes & Curran LLP and the Department of Rural and Community Development via the Dormant Accounts Fund.

The 2021-2024 Fund, supported by Mason Hayes & Curran LLP, will see the largest ever amounts awarded since the project began, with five organisations receiving grants and non-financial supports packages. The Fund was established in 2017 to provide support for projects that empower people through education to achieve their full potential and to contribute to their communities.

Among the successful projects selected this year are organisations that provide educational opportunities to people experiencing marginalisation, young people from the Traveller community, young people with disabilities, and people with migrant status.

The Engage & Educate Fund Awardees are:

  • Galway Traveller Movement
  • Cultúr Migrant Centre
  • Blossom Ireland
  • Care After Prison
  • Youth Horizons

The COVID-19 pandemic has widened the gap in educational opportunities between different socio-economic groups over the past two years. As a result, the negative impact on young people and adults who left the education system early, or are now at risk of doing so, is growing. The objective of the Fund is to back innovative projects that empower young people and adults through education. The Engage & Educate Fund aims to work with organisations that empower young people and adults, helping to break the negative cycle of poverty through education.

Announcing the 2021-2024 Engage & Educate Fund Awardees today, Minister of State with special responsibility for Community Development and Charities Joe O’Brien TD said, “I’m delighted to announce the recipients of funding from the Engage & Educate Fund and very pleased to see the diversity of the winning projects, working with children experiencing disadvantage, migrants, members of the Traveller Community and others in our communities. 

“These organisations play such an important role both in supporting people in mainstream education and in providing access to educational opportunities for those who haven’t been afforded the same opportunities as others. I want to thank Mason Hayes & Curran and Rethink Ireland for this support and the process of engagement with communities that has led to these awards being made.”

Declan Black Managing Partner, Mason Hayes & Curran LLP said, “We absolutely believe that education can and does open a world of opportunity for people. This is our biggest fund yet and we’re delighted to be part of a project that will provide access to education to help people realise their potential.  The ability of each of these organisations to provide educational services to those who have had difficulty in accessing education, or are otherwise disadvantaged, was an important consideration in selecting this year’s awardees. We look forward to seeing the outcomes that will be achieved with this funding.”

Deirdre Mortell, CEO, Rethink Ireland said, “This year’s awardees have demonstrated incredible creativity, innovation and determination in what they do.  A lot of people in Ireland already have the privilege of a good education but it’s easy to forget that not everyone has the same opportunities. 3,300 Irish people leave school every year without a qualification – our work with this fund aims to change that.

“For this year’s awardees, we have found five truly incredible projects that are already changing people’s lives. The Engage & Educate Fund will assist these groups in providing access to education and support people to stay in education longer. We look forward to working closely with each and every one of them to help them achieve their goals.”