€1.2 million Engage & Educate Fund launched by Mason Hayes & Curran LLP, Rethink Ireland and the Department of Rural and Community Development.
Minister of State with responsibility for Community Development and Charities at the Department of Rural and Community Development, Joe O’Brien TD launched the Engage & Educate Fund. The Fund was created by law firm Mason Hayes & Curran LLP and Rethink Ireland, the Social Innovation Fund Of Ireland, in partnership with the Government of Ireland. Minister Joe O’Brien TD was joined at the launch in TU Dublin by Emer O’Neill, RTE’s Home School Hub Múinteoir and Deirdre Mortell, CEO, Rethink Ireland. The €1.2 million Fund aims to back innovative projects that empower young people and adults through education, enabling people from marginalised communities to access game-changing education programmes.
This is the second phase of the Fund, which will run over the next three years, and is now officially open for applications until June 2nd. An initial investment of €450,000 from 2017 -2019 supported eleven inspiring projects across 10 counties in Ireland with financial and mentoring support. As a result, these charities reached 5,725 participants and mobilised 1,305 volunteers. This second phase is now worth €1.2 million. The Engage & Educate Fund aims to work with organisations that empower young people and adults through education and break the negative cycle of poverty through education. The COVID-19 pandemic has widened the gap in education opportunities between differing socio-economic classes and is deepening the negative impact on young people and adults who have left the education system early or are at risk of doing so.
Projects that work to alleviate educational disadvantages for vulnerable groups and young people and adults in one or more of the following groups will be prioritised. The Fund will contribute towards Ireland’s attainment of Sustainable Development Goals. The Engage & Educate Fund is the second philanthropic partnership between Mason Hayes & Curran LLP and Rethink Ireland. The Engage & Educate Fund is backed by the Department of Rural & Community Development via the Dormant Accounts Fund.
Commenting at the launch, Minister of State with responsibility for Community Development and Charities at the Department of Rural and Community Development, Joe O’Brien TD, said: “The Engage & Educate Fund is another terrific example of public private philanthropic partnership. The Department of Rural and Community Development is happy to partner with Rethink Ireland and Irish law firm Mason Hayes & Curran LLP. This €1.2 million Fund is now open to applications from projects all over Ireland in marginalised and disadvantaged communities aiming to empower their members through education.”
Deirdre Mortell, CEO, Rethink Ireland also added: “Education is the silver bullet to empowering people. Empowered people means empowered communities . We are delighted to launch this second phase of our Engage & Educate Fund, with increased finance from Mason Hayes & Curran LLP and our Government via the Dormant Accounts Fund. Never has this Fund been more important as the COVID pandemic has increased inequalities between people and communities.”
Declan Black, Managing Partner, Mason Hayes & Curran LLP, the business law firm supporting the Engage & Educate Fund said “Education is at the heart of our social responsibility programme. Now more than ever, we have a responsibility to contribute toward the wellbeing of society and we believe it is the right thing to do.”
Emer O’Neill, Múinteoir with RTE Home School Hub: “As a teacher I see the inequalities in our society every day and how education can empower individuals to lead their communities toward better and more sustainable lives. The last year of the Covid pandemic showed us how vital school is for our kids, and for many the Home School Hub was a lifeline. That was in itself an eye opener.”