Roma Community Development and Advocacy Worker, Joleen Kuyper
Minister of State David Stanton is Donegal is launching a new Donegal Travellers Project (DTP) programme of supports for members of the Roma community who are living in the county today.
The DTP Roma Project is one of six community-based projects nationwide to receive government funding in response to a recent report that documented high levels of poverty and discrimination experienced by people of Roma ethnicity in Ireland.
The funding has been provided by the Department of Justice and Equality, where Minister Stanton is Minister of State with Special Responsibility for Equality, Immigration, and Integration.
The launch is taking place this morning in the DTP office on the Port Road in Letterkenny.
A new DTP ”Roma Cultural Information” booklet funded by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission to facilitate the social inclusion of Roma will also be launched at the event.
“Donegal Travellers Project is delighted that Minister Stanton will be coming to Donegal to launch the DTP Roma Project,” said Siobhán McLaughlin, DTP Manager. “The Project offers a wide range of supports to Roma in Donegal, including helping families to access essential services such as education, housing, and medical care. The Project will also be working with other Donegal agencies to promote the culturally appropriate inclusion of Roma in Donegal society. The 'Roma Cultural Information' booklet which will also be launched has been developed to assist in this aspect of the Project.”
“Roma In Ireland – A National Needs Assessment” is the name of the report published in January which documents the many blocks to full inclusion in Irish society that are faced by members of the Roma community. The report also identifies a range of steps needed to achieve outcomes for Roma that are equal to those of the general population.
Announcing funding for the six projects in March, Minister Stanton said: “I firmly believe that actions at local level are key to ensuring that the Roma community are included, can contribute to, and can play a full role in Irish society. I am very pleased that we are able to support these projects, and I look forward to seeing positive outcomes.”
Supports offered by the DTP Roma Project include home visits by a Roma Community Development and Advocacy Worker, Joleen Kuyper, who is available to provide members of the Roma community assistance with filling out forms, attending appointments, writing letters, making telephone calls, and more.
Other aspects of the DTP Roma Project include raising awareness of the history, culture, and traditions of the Roma in Europe; providing opportunities for English language learning by Roma; and working to establish an independent Roma community group in Donegal.