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US Ambassador Claire Cronin pays a Special Visit to ‘The W.A.Y’ Youth Project in Bundoran

We were delighted to host a surprise visit from a special guest when United States Ambassador to Ireland Claire Cronin called in to visit the Centre while on a recent visit to Donegal. Greeted by our staff and committee at Bundoran Community Centre, Ambassador Cronin had an opportunity to discuss the work of ‘The W.A.Y Project’, an inspirational new youth support programme which is opening up opportunities for young people aged 16-25 years who are not currently in employment, education or training. The W.A.Y Project is being funded through a funding commitment of €133,751 secured from the International Fund for Ireland, which is backed by USAID, and the project is being led by the staff and committee here at Bundoran Community Centre. The project has been developed to benefit young people from community areas right across South Donegal and in neighbouring border community areas.


Speaking about the new project, Paddy Harte, Chair of the International Fund for Ireland said ‘we are delighted to support Bundoran Community Centre and their ambitious vision for the new Personal Youth Development Programme along the Wild Atlantic Way. The staff and committee at Bundoran Community Centre have worked for many years to develop the Centre into an inclusive, welcoming and accessible community space with programmes that benefit the local area and have a positive impact on good community relations. In the groups formative years, the International Fund for Ireland supported the committee’s vision of a new Community Centre for the town and we are now delighted to be in a position to support the group on their journey to deliver the W.A.Y Project. ‘


Danielle Carty who manages Bundoran Community Centre said, ‘we were both in shock and excited to learn that Ambassador Cronin wanted to call in to see our Centre and to learn about our work and the new W.A.Y Project. We had to take a moment to take it in as it seemed like an unbelievable phone call to receive and then we put our plans into action for our special visit.’


Caoimhe Maloney who manages the new ‘W.A.Y Project’ from the Centre said, ‘our programme is open to any young person in the South Donegal area, and I work with each young person in a location that is accessible to them through outreach work across Bundoran, Ballyshannon, Donegal Town and in border areas. The programme is designed around each individual’s needs and is a long-term commitment to each young person, working with them and inspiring them to achieve their full development potential.’


Stephen Barrett, Programme Manager with the International Fund for Ireland for Donegal said ‘it comes as no surprise to me that the staff and committee at Bundoran Community Centre would be recognised internationally for their work. It was my privilege to link with colleagues in the U.S. Embassy to arrange the visit and to give the community in Bundoran the recognition they deserve. Bundoran town has a unique sense of place, history, identity and is a town which has captured the hearts and imagination of many visitors. The town has incredible development potential, and the committee is the driving force behind positive community good relations work in the area. The W.A.Y Project name itself is a reference to the project’s unique location along the Wild Atlantic Way. The name also describes very well the type of support that young people can expect to receive through the project as all the supports are designed entirely around each person’s personal ambitions, needs and their preferred pathways, the direction, the way they want to take in life. The project works with each young person to find what suits them best as an individual, through a flexible and supportive approach.’


As part of the visit Ambassador Cronin also met with representatives from the ‘C.H.A.N.C.E’ and ‘M.Y.E Future’ Personal Youth Development programmes in Donegal, programmes which are operated with funding support from the International Fund for Ireland, and which benefit young people in Inishowen and North Donegal.


For more information on how to access the confidential and personal support of the ‘The Way Project’ in Bundoran please contact Caoimhe Maloney at Bundoran Community Centre on 085 105 9703 or by email waybundoran@gmail.com.







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