Through the Eyes of Traveller Children

MunsterExpress27June2014THROUGH the Eyes of Traveller Children, a new book by Traveller children from Dungarvan, was launched last week at The Old Market House Arts Centre to celebrate Travellers Pride Week in the town.

The book project emerged through a partnership between Waterford County Childcare Committee, Waterford County Traveller Interagency Group and Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership, the only dedicated publisher of books by children in Ireland.

Celebrating Traveller children, their lives and traditions, the book took shape through a series of creative workshops with Traveller children and their parents. The children worked with Kids’ Own artist Orla Kenny and writer Mary Branley to share their experiences, stories and hopes for the future. The project provided a unique opportunity for children and mothers from the Traveller community to play and be creative together and to publish their very own book.

Jonathan creating his print for the book

Jonathan creating his print for the book

Margaret, one of the Traveller children, spoke about her experiences of growing up in the Traveller community: ‘I was born in Cork and I’ve travelled to different places, like Galway and Dublin and other places. My family used to travel round to different places and live in caravans. My Grandmother and all me family were living in Dungarvan so we decided to move here. I’m here 12 years now. Just because we live in a house we’re still Travellers. We were born Travellers.’

Helen and her son Paddy take part in family play workshops during the making of the book.

Helen and her son Paddy take part in family play workshops during the making of the book.

Orla Kenny, Creative Director of Kids’ Own, said: ‘Kids’ Own has a long history of working with members of the Traveller community from all around Ireland and this project has provided another opportunity for us to support the individual creative expression and unique perspectives of Traveller children and their parents and to publish their artwork, stories and ideas, in order to share them with the wider community.’

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