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Making a Difference in the Lives of At-risk Youth and Their Communities

Resource type: Grantee Story

The local inner city communities of Fatima Mansions and Dolphin House in Rialto in Dublin are among the most disadvantaged in Ireland. For more than three decades, the community has struggled to achieve local government support for the area – culminating in the achievement of a comprehensive physical, economic and social regeneration of Fatima, with similar plans in the pipeline for Dolphin House.

Out-of-school time services in Ireland are poorly resourced, undervalued and lack evidence of effectiveness. The Dublin inner city area of Rialto, with its history of innovative programmes for children and young people, represented fertile ground for the development of these services.

Atlantic supports the Fatima Regeneration Board to develop quality out-of-school time programmes that focus on achieving better outcomes for 11- to 14-year-olds at risk in the community. The project is part of Atlantic’s efforts in Ireland to promote evidence-based programmes for children and youth that intervene early in problem cycles.

John Whyte, Chief Executive of Fatima Regeneration Board, says: “The combination of a dedicated staff team, a community of young people who are really keen to learn, coupled with raw enthusiasm brought about through a creative curriculum, has been well-received and is currently being robustly evaluated. This is the sort of innovative programme that can really make a difference, not only in the lives of individual young people, but for the whole community.”

This initiative is being closely linked with local schools, a consortium of local agencies and residents. The programme looks to the integration of existing formal schools and informal youth development services in the area. This effort has led to piloting a range of structured activities, including visual arts, drama, dance, sports and literacy.

Physical and social regeneration of Fatima Mansions and Dolphin House supports the quality and capacity of out-of-school time programmes for 11 to 14 year olds in South Dublin.

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Children & Youth

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Republic of Ireland