The project, supported by SETU Access Office, involved Traveller women in a community education project, incorporating literacy skills and group development.
Bunclody Traveller Women’s group along with WWETB staff visited South East Technological University (SETU) Waterford to tour the campus and deliver an update on The Holy Well Project.
Funding provided through SETU’s Dormant Accounts Fund enabled the group to carry out a research and restoration protect on a Holy Well in Ballincoola, Kilmyshell, Co Wexford. Over several months, they documented and created a booklet based on the Holy Well highlighting its importance to Traveller Culture within the local community.
The project was facilitated and delivered by current SETU students Sally Murphy and Celine Cash who gave an update to those in attendance and offered a special thanks to SETU Access Office for ongoing supports.
Both Sally & Celine, who are studying for a Higher Certificate in Arts in Community Education and Development in the School of Adult & Continuing Education.
Speaking at the event, Traveller Education Worker Paul Bennett thanked the group for their fantastic input and ongoing work on the project. He noted the importance of community projects and such visits to build relationships with SETU and to ensure that access to education is equal and equitable for all.
SETU's event with Bunclody Traveller Women's Group showed the women and children who took part that SETU is a welcoming, accepting and thriving education setting, where the doors are open wide for Travellers. It is very important for all education settings, including third level, to reach out and let minority groups know that they have a right to access to education.
When asked about the event, adult educator with WWETB, Anne McDonnell said; "In our daily lives, we walk or drive by buildings every day. We might wonder about what is happening inside those buildings, or we might think certain buildings are not a place for us. This can happen with places of education, sometimes we might think ‘that place is not for me’. Not true! Places of education are for everyone. But sometimes, there needs to be a day or event that welcomes everyone in that shows people ‘yes, this place is for everyone, this place is for you!’”
Paul went on to thank those who helped create an enjoyable event for all, including WWETB, Novus catering staff, SLL graduate ambassadors and Access Office staff. Dr Rebekah Brennan (UCC) who was representing the SOAR Project was also thanked for her contribution to the day's events.
The Holy Well Historical Project will culminate with a celebration and mass delivered by Bishop Ger Nash in Ballicoola, Kilmyshell, Co Wexford on 14 August at 7:00pm.