Involve (formerly the National Association of Traveller Centres) was founded in 1972 as a voluntary committee, and established as a limited company with charitable status in 1988. Involve went through a rebranding and reconfiguration of the organisation during 2011, with the head office and the organisations name being officially launched by the then Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Francis Fitzgerald on July 8th 2011. The Organisation’s original function was the representative body for Senior Traveller Training Centres with Government Departments and other Statutory and Voluntary Organisations, the last of these centres being phased out in 2012.
Involves history is embedded in education and training. Today, Involve is a youth, community and communications organisation working primarily with members of the Traveller community. It is the main provider of youth work services to young Travellers in Ireland. As part of the delivery of this service we also focus on young people from marginalised backgrounds.
Involves object for which the company is established are: –
- Advocate equality and inclusivity for the Traveller community and provide educational and training programmes, initiatives and services that promote the participation and inclusion of the Traveller community in Irish society.
- To support Travellers accessing employment and creating opportunities for Travellers to avail of Training Programmes that would enhance their employability in society.
We continue to deliver the following services in various locations.
The organisation directly manages, supports, delivers training and strategic direction to seven youth projects in the following Counties: Galway, Mayo, Donegal and Meath. Each of the seven youth projects has its own unique programme of activities and in total the projects engage over fifteen hundred young people every week, focussing primarily on those between the of 10 - 25 years old and from the Traveller community.
Travellers’ Voice Magazine
Involve delivers community development and communications through targeted information and articles on relevant issues by managing, co-ordinating, publishing, distributing Travellers’ Voice Magazine as well as ensuring Traveller employment and participation in the project.
TCIP (Traveller Culture and Identity Programme)
Involve have designed and developed a Traveller Ethnicity and Culture programme in collaboration with national and regional Traveller groups which challenges the prevailing, negative stereotypes and myths relating to Irelands Traveller community. It promotes reliable data and knowledge about the community in wider society and is part of developing evidence-based training programmes that meets the needs of groups and orgranisations working with, or on behalf of the Traveller community. This project has increased the capacity of workers to deliver information in a multi- faceted/dimensional way and in an inclusive manner. The programme gives a comprehensive overview of Traveller History, Traveller Culture and Traveller Life Today.
STATUS (Supporting Travellers Advance through Universal Services)
The STATUS Toolkit is a Quality Assurance (QA) Framework whereby organisations can engage in a process of self-evaluation and agree a Continuous Improvement Plan (CIP) to support their youth work practices in order to be more inclusive of members of the Traveller community. The aim is to achieve the best possible outcomes for the engagement, participation and retention of young people from the Traveller community in their projects and activities. The STATUS toolkit has also been adopted by a number of institutes of technology to enhance their engagement with the Traveller community.
Employment & Enterprise
The figure for Traveller unemployment is at an unacceptable level of 82%. Involve CLG are working to secure the support of relevant agencies to deliver targeted initiatives, both employment and enterprise for young people who are distanced from the labour market. This work will be piloted in a number of locations where youth projects currently exist. We have initiated the process of engaging with the services to ensure that we work together as one cohesive support system to ensure success for individuals.
By providing a coordinated approach, we will have an integrated rather than a fragmented employment service on offer to those most marginalised within our community.