Today sees the launch of the new CFI / CRAOL series ‘On the Cusp- Belonging to Ireland’, a joint venture between 7 community stations, working with members of the travelling, immigrant, LGBT and former offender communities. The event today also includes an award ceremony for participants in the QQi L3 media expression course that have completed their training with the stations. The course had more than 60 participants from diverse groups across the country, and placed a special emphasis on advocating for change through media. The course was run free of charge to participants and was funded by the Community Foundation of Ireland.

The Series -‘On the Cusp- Belonging to Ireland’

Topics covered in the show include the asylum process, addiction and homelessness, discrimination and the referendum on changing the voting age to 16.. The programme makers spoke to members of the public, industry professionals Vincent Browne professor Des McCaffrey, as well as TD’s Ciaran Cannon.

This ground-breaking project, spear-headed by Craol – The Community Radio Forum of Ireland and funded by The Community Foundation for Ireland, seeks to remove the obstacles that prevent people’s voices from reaching the airwaves on the issues that concern them. The project, designed and coordinated by Craol, has facilitated the training of more than 60 people to become advocates and media-producers. These new community radio makers have gone on to produce over 7 hours of radio that tackles directly the issues concerning them, and their communities.

Tina Roche, CEO of The Community Foundation for Ireland says, “The Community Foundation believes that strong communities ensure that all voices within our communities are heard and listened to when making decisions. She underlined the importance of marginalised voices being heard and that the individuals involved in the project are active and feel they belong in their communities.”

These 7 locally made radio programmes have been distilled into a nationally syndicated radio series, which will now be broadcast across the network of community radio stations (with a listenership yesterday of 234,000 (RedC). The stations involved in this project are; Athlone Community Radio, Community Radio Youghal, Flirt FM in Galway, Liffey Sound, Near FM and Phoenix FM in Dublin and Wired FM in Limerick. The series will also be available to download or stream at Soundcloud and streamed on www.craol.ie/projects

Both Craol and The Community Foundation For Ireland are clear on the legacy of the project. For Declan Gibbons, Chairperson of Craol, the project’s success is evident. “This series epitomises the core ethos of community media and had a big impact in communities because of its inclusivity. “Summing up the project’s impact, Tina Roche says “This project and series has produced much more than we expected and has been a real success story.”

In a poignant reminder of how some of these marginalised communities are suffering, the audience  heard of the plight of one participant Barry, from Limerick who completed the course while residing in Direct provision. Just days before the certificates were to be awarded, Barry was notified that after 10 years of living in Ireland, his asylum application has been rejected and he will shortly return to his native Guinea.

The Limerick Leader gave a feature to the group from Limerick can be found here which includes Barry and the rest of the participants while they were undertaking the course.

Commenting on Barry’s plight, Tina Roche said that it highlighted the urgent need for reform of the direct provision system.

You can find out more about the project and hear all 7 local programmes, along with the National Series at www.craol.ie.

ENDS

Craol – The Community Radio Forum of Ireland

Craol – The Community Radio Forum of Ireland is the umbrella organisation representing the Community Radio movement in Ireland. Craol provides practical supports for member stations, coordinates network wide initiatives, and advocates on behalf of the movement.  As the lead partner in ‘On the Cusp – Belonging to Ireland’, Craol has harnessed the power of this network of community radio stations and Craol’s QQI-accredited community radio and media literacy training Initiative to provide a unique platform for older people’s advocacy. www.craol.ie

The Community Foundation For Ireland

The Community Foundation for Ireland is a philanthropic organisation assisting donors with their strategic giving and supporting charities and community groups through grant making. Established in 2000, The Community Foundation for Ireland has made grants on behalf of donors of over €37million, mostly in Ireland. They now manage over 70 funds established by individuals, families and businesses. The total amount on endowment with the foundation stands at €45 million. Grants exceeding €6.5 million were issued by us and on behalf of donors in 2017. The Community Foundation for Ireland helps people to engage in more effective and rewarding philanthropic activity by connecting donors to the most deserving and impactful causes. www.communityfoundation.ie

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