Traveller Advocates Learn New Skills in Brussels

Traveller advocates Lorraine O’Connor and Jules Mc Donagh will travel to the European City of Brussels today (18.09.17) to attend policy making and advocacy training, and meet with other adult education professionals from across Europe.

The two women from Dublin work in Exchange House, the National Traveller Service, which provides supports to 8,000 Travellers each year, including education and training. At national level, Exchange House is involved in the Community Education Network, run by AONTAS, the National Adult Learning Organisation.

The trip is taking place as part of the ERASMUS+ ‘Making an Impact at European Level’ project, an EU-funded project organised by AONTAS that supports the professional development of adult education workers.

Commenting in advance of their trip Ms Mc Donagh said: “Our job often requires us to advocate for the Traveller community on issues such as liaising with social welfare on behalf of clients. I am really looking forward to learning more about how policy making and advocacy works at European level.”

Ms O’Connor said: “It will be great to get an opportunity to meet with other adult education organisations to see how they work. I mostly work with young Travellers so I am hoping to learn about new teaching methods and get fresh ideas to bring back to our organisation.”

The training is hosted by the European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA) who promote adult learning and access to, and participation in non-formal adult education, especially for groups such as Travellers who are often under-represented.

Speaking about the visit AONTAS CEO Niamh O’Reilly said: “This EU project aims to strengthen the work of the AONTAS Community Education Network by giving them an opportunity to partake in learning events across Europe, where they can learn about best practice in adult and community education.

AONTAS is delighted to offer this opportunity to Exchange House so they can bring back new ideas and connections to their organisation and community.”


Contact: Katie O’Rourke, Communications Lead AONTAS, Tel: 01-4068220/ 087-9086168, Email: