Involve Traveller Culture and Identity Project (TCIP)
As the result of a scoping workshop a few years ago, a need was identified for a standardised, high-quality, cultural training programme which would raise awareness about Travellers among the general population and national organisations. A need was also identified to give an opportunity for Travellers to know more about their history and culture and to feel personal pride in their identity. The programme will be delivered to Travellers and non-Traveller organisations and groups in a range of ways over multiple formats including Irish Traveller led, in-person workshops, online workshops, an internet-based resource bank, a trainer manual and a self-study online course.
It all started with three themes: Irish Traveller History, Irish Traveller Culture, and Irish Travellers Today. Forming a Traveller-majority steering group for the project was crucial in developing the content and material for the presentations on each theme. We welcomed a diverse panel of representatives of all ages, genders and LGBTQI+ status from Irish Traveller Organisations including Pavee Point, Irish Traveller Movement, Minceirs Whiden, Meath Travellers Workshops, Exchange House Ireland, Travellers’ Voice, National Traveller MABS, Craigavon Travellers Support Committee, plus University College Dublin’s Folklore Department.
There are three presentations available on the themes of Irish Traveller History, Irish Traveller Culture, and Irish Travellers Today. All are available in both PowerPoint and Prezi versions, and are to be used in conjunction with the Facilitator’s Manual. The Manual also contains useful training materials including pre and post training questionnaires, quizzes, trainer hints and tips and extra resources for tailoring the training to specific audiences.
We have piloted a number of training sessions to gain further feedback and critiquing of the material. These have ranged from small groups of young Travellers, to Youth Service providers and LGBTQI+ organisations.
The Steering Group will continue to meet regularly to review its progress. We are also planning to develop an online version of the TCIP this year. The TCIP is only be the start: over time, facilitators themselves will add to the bank of resources from their own research and experience.