D8CEC - 20 Years from the Classroom to the Community

3 Nov 2016
AONTAS is passionate about advocating for the value of community education and our Community Education Network (CEN), set up in 2007, is pivotal to this work. The CEN comprises of over 130 community education organisations who work collectively to gain recognition for community education, raise its profile and lobby to ensure it is adequately resourced.

As an organisation we have long argued that community education has a proven track record in effectively engaging the most educationally disadvantaged learners and providing quality educational experiences that meets their needs and the needs of the local community.

AONTAS CEN members D8 Community Education Centre (D8CEC) have been providing quality adult learning to the Dublin 8 community since 1996. They will mark their 20th anniversary on Thursday 3rd November with a special ceremony, “from the Classroom to the Community” in the Mansion House, Dublin. This event will celebrate and reflect on D8CEC’s growth, success and impact they have had on the community.

An independent, not-for-profit organisation D8CEC provides second-chance education to adults in south-west inner-city Dublin. Based on Synge Street in the heart of Dublin 8, the centre provides second-chance education to over 300 adults each year and are firm believers in “education for all”. D8CEC cater to a wide range of students from natives of the Liberties to people of all nationalities.

Learners are central to the work and success of D8CEC and they recently celebrated their annual Awards Ceremony in The Guinness Storehouse, Dublin 8, where 65 learners received QQI awards in a range of courses including computer literacy; internet and IT skills; maths; and English as a second language. The diversity of D8CEC’s learners was clear as learners ranged from 19 to 76 years old. On the day D8CEC’s CEO, Rachel Morrissey said "we feel we have achieved complete success with the learners receiving certificates today, with almost a quarter having either stayed in education or found employment. This is a life-changing accomplishment for this group of learners when you consider that many of them come from backgrounds of educational disadvantage and long-term unemployment."

D8CEC has a long history of supporting learners to progress with their education journey to secure their dream job or fulfil life-time ambitions. A prime example of this is Ruslan Mocharskyy, a Ukrainian native who attended D8CEC to learn English. He was granted legal status in Ireland and the language skills he developed through attending D8CEC helped facilitate his dream to open a coffee shop. In a few short years, Ruslan has opened “the Art of Coffee” coffee shops which have five locations across Dublin. He is also a trainer of coffee making and has trained the Irish Barista champion in 2007, a competition in which he came third place. Ruslan’s “Art of Coffee” has been named one of the top coffee houses in Europe, with The Irish Times noting it as a “perfect coffee destination”. Despite Ruslan’s huge success in the coffee business he always remembered where his journey began as he promotes D8CEC throughout his coffee shops through proudly displaying leaflets for his customers.

AONTAS would like to congratulate D8CEC on their 20th Anniversary and we look forward to continue working alongside them for many years to come. 

Photos by Mark Stedman at the D8CEC Award Ceremony on 26th October 2016.