Longford Community Resources is celebrating a six figure cash injection this week as part of a €1m pilot programme aimed at combatting poverty and social exclusion among Longford's Roma population.
The local integrated development company was one of seven successful applicants nationwide to benefit from the State backed initiative.
Joe O'Brien, Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development, travelled to the county last week to officially unveil the plan.
“There is a lot of good work being done by Longford Community Resources,” said the Dublin Fingal TD.
“There is a lot of connections already with members of the Roma community and this project in particular is focused on working with and engaging with members of the Roma community.”
Mr O'Brien alluded to how diligent background endeavours by LCRL and its staff had proved instrumental in the Longford company being selected above other applications.
“There was a base of work already done there that indicated this proposal that was being put forward had a very good chance of being successful in terms of empowering the local Roma community,” he added.
It's estimated somewhere in the region of €140,000 will be set aside for the project, allowing LCRL to appoint two dedicated support staff to lead the initiative.
“The Roma community are one of the most marginalised groups in the country and in Europe who face multiple layers of discrimmination,” he continued.
“It is about giving them supports, giving them space and networks as well where they can shape the type of project they want to satisfy their needs and realise their rights.”
Cathaoirleach of Longford County Council, Cllr Paul Ross described the funding announcement as a “great day for Longford and LCRL” as he paid tribute to the local organisation’s dedicated staff.
CEO of LCRL Adrian Greene said the investment would go a long way towards aiding the company in its attempts to foster closer ties and support the needs of both Longford’s Roma and other multicultural diaspora.
“As part of the work we do and have done down through the years we have always looked to undertake a community development approach using community development values and principles,” he said.
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