Meath Travellers Workshops Ltd is a Traveller led community development organisation.
For over 40 years, we have been working in partnership with the settled community improving the situation of the Travellers in Co. Meath. From our busy premises on the Fairgreen in Navan, we run a wide variety of programmes and services, focusing mainly on education and facilitating Travellers to get more involved in their own self-determination.
The aims of Meath Travellers Workshops Ltd are:
- To prevent the erosion of the economic base of Travellers
- To enable participation of Travellers in the education system
- To develop programmes which will encourage ownership and empowerment
- To promote respect for Traveller identity and culture
- To provide sufficient validation to create an atmosphere of self-determination and reduce dependency.
The History of Meath Travellers Workshops Ltd
Meath Travellers Workshops Ltdwas originally called Navan Travellers Workshops Ltd. It was established in 1965. The organisation was set up as a result of the Commission on Itinerancy Report of 1963.
The main motivation for the setting up of Navan Travellers Committee (St Jude’s) as it was known at that time, was the deplorable living conditions that the Travelling People were forced to live in. The people involved with the organisation at that time worked hard to elevate the harsh deplorable conditions that Travellers lived in and the issues that arose from these conditions such as Health, Education and Life Expectancy. The main thrust of the work of the Committee at this stage was focusing on trying to meet the basic needs of the Travellers in the area.
In the late seventies the Committee’s philosophy changed from that of meeting the basic needs to one of Community Development. They employed a Community Worker to work along side the Travellers to help them to identify their own needs and to formulate strategies to meet the needs of the Travelling Community in general.
The focus now is mainly on educating and facilitating Travellers to get more involved and participate in their own self-determination. The organisation has developed and expanded over the years to its present form and shape. Our Motto is:
“We recognise that meaningful change for Travellers can only take place when we have both the skills and confidence to organise ourselves and articulate our own needs and this organisation can best achieve this by supporting the appropriate inclusion of Travellers with area based programmes of local, social and economic development.”