Maynooth University Access Programme and Pavee Point Traveller & Roma Centre
Masters of Social Science in Community Work and Youth Work Maynooth University, 2021
I graduated last year and now have 2 part-time jobs with working on the Maynooth University Access Programme (MAP) and with Pavee Point Traveller and Roma Centre. My work in MAP includes outreach to prospective Traveller students in schools and community organisations, providing information and supporting them to navigate the higher education system and the supports available.
In Pavee Point, I am a development worker on the Violence Against Women Programme which involves policy work, developing and delivering training, supporting our Traveller Women Awareness Worker project and addressing barriers for Traveller women accessing domestic violence services, also supporting Pavee Points education initiatives.
My professional education prepared me to work professionally in areas that I am passionate about. We did two 14-week placements in the area of community development and youth work which showed me the importance of linking theory to practice and gave me the opportunity to reflect on my values, ensuring they were congruent with community work.
It gave me a strong analysis of the structural & systemic issues affecting communities in Ireland and how as community workers we can work collectively and collaboratively to bring about social change. The most important thing for me is using what I have learned to work with my own community, in Pavee Point and in MU.
I strongly encourage all from marginalised and minority groups including Travellers and Roma who are interested in rights and justice for our communities to think about doing professional community work education. A professional community work education offers a unique way of learning. Through critical dialogue and experiential learning you can develop the knowledge and skills to work in diverse community work roles.