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Book shares stories of international people who have made Kerry their home

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Mary Carroll, Susan McElligott and Sinead Kelleher. PICTURE: DOMNICK WALSH

THE remarkable and inspiring true-life stories of 15 international people who have made Kerry their home have been told in a new book, Behind the Face.

The publication, which will be launched this Friday, December 2, in Siamsa Tire, Tralee at 6pm, makes a unique and impactful statement about the diversity of the new Kerry and helps us to go behind what we see, and look into the lives of the people we pass on the street, and challenge any possible stereotypes we may have.

Behind the Face, which was supported by Kerry County Council’s Community Support Fund and NEWKD through SICAP funds, tells the stories of people like Ahmed Lulu who came here from Palestine to escape Hamas and a life of war and terror.

Eddie Ong came from Malaysia to follow his dream of cooking and learning about new foods; Galina Cotter came to Kerry for love and now has two children and runs a business with her husband, and Hashim Al Hadeedy came to escape fear and terror from Isis in his home county of Iraq.

All these stories and more are contained in Behind the Face which is hoped will help the public understand that Kerry’s new residents all have their own reasons for coming to the county.

For whatever reason and, regardless of where they are from, wherever they come, they all share the fact that they have been uprooted and planted in a new place, with new cultures, customs and systems to adjust to.

Their stories are of love and loss, bravery and hope but most importantly they tell us the story ‘behind the face’ – the stories of Kerry’s newest residents.

The book was compiled by Mary Carroll, Sinead Kelleher and Susan McElligott. Mary is the co-ordinator of Tralee International Resource which helps support Kerry’s new international community. Sinead Kelleher is a journalist and believes that Kerry should open its arms to its new residents. “We want this book to tell the story of people who have made Kerry their home,” said Sinead.

Susan McElligott is a counsellor who works with international people on a daily basis. She is a US citizen who now lives in Ireland. She is one of 15 people who shares her story in the new book. “People’s stories are their identities and we want to share them so that past and future generations will understand where they came from,” said Susan.

Speaking about the Book, Mary said, “We all are different and yet the same. Some may be like us and others may be vastly different. We hope this book will allow you to think twice when you pass someone on the street and wonder what that person’s life has been like. We hope this book will help to connect the people of Kerry.”

Behind the Face will be launched this Friday, December 2, at Siamsa Tire at 6pm by Tralee’s Ultan Dillane. The Irish Rugby International was originally born in Paris to an Irish mother and a father from the Ivory Coast, but grew up in Tralee.
MC for the event is Radio Kerry’s Deirdre Walsh and author and columnist Billy Keane, who penned the foreword, for the book will also be in attendance.

The book is available from TIRC – 066-7127918 – and costs €10 with all proceeds going to support the work TIRC do on promoting integration. Watch the Facebook page www.facebook.com/InternationalpeopleinKerry/ for more information.
 


 
Above: Mary Carroll, Susan McElligott and Sinead Kelleher. PICTURE: DOMNICK WALSH

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Possible return to campus for college students

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By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors

The announcement by the Department of Education this week, that the Leaving Cert results will be issued on Friday, September 3, was followed by confirmation from the Central Applications Office that CAO Round 1 offers will be issued online, four days later on Tuesday, September 7 at 2pm.

This is about three weeks later than normal, although it is earlier than the 2020 dates. Coinciding with the release of these dates comes the news from Minister for Further and Higher Education, Simon Harris, that it is the priority of Government to get college students back on campus for the 2021/2022 academic year. Because of the later issue of Leaving Cert results and CAO offers, this means that First Year students will start college a couple of weeks later than those who are returning to college in Second, Third and Fourth Year.

From the point of social distancing, the staggered start may be an advantage, as we will still be living with certain restrictions due to COVID-19. There are a number of contributing factors what will influence a safe and successful return to the college campus for students according to Minister Harris. They include the roll-out and take-up of vaccinations in the college-age cohort by September, the use of rapid testing on campus which has been run as a pilot in several universities this year, and a varied approach to face-to-face lectures. It is hoped that smaller classes, practicals and tutorials can be operated as before with social distancing while the larger lectures may need to be facilitated using a blended approach. It is also felt that if cafés, restaurants and bars are open everywhere else, there is no reason why they can’t open on campus. This of course is all based on vaccinations and public health guidelines.

ACCOMMODATION

A big concern for First Year students following the announcements is the fact that they will be looking for accommodation later than all other students. This is an issue every single year because when CAO offers are issued, many students get offers for colleges in locations where they have not secured accommodation. Naturally it is of particular concern to rural students and mirrors a greater societal shortage of accommodation. Minister Harris has also stated that he is bringing a proposal to Cabinet in the coming weeks to implement legislation which means that the owners of purpose-built student accommodation will only be allowed to charge rents a month in advance rather than insisting on payment of rent for half of the college year, something which has put enormous strain on students and their families over the years.
So, while any kind of certainty surrounding a return to ‘normal’ college life isn’t possible, it is both hopeful and exciting for new and returning college students to be able to look forward to the next college year with the prospect of getting to enjoy a real college experience and all that has to offer.

WEBINAR

I will be hosting a free webinar for Leaving Cert parents on June 16 at 7pm on ‘How to help your son/daughter with CAO Change of Mind and other career options’ ahead of the CAO deadline on July 1. 

To register see links on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram: @mycareerplan or email me on info@mycareerplan.ie. 

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, and Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors. She is also a Career Consultant. For details see www.mycareerplan.ie or follow @mycareerplan on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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Deadline for health and well-being fest fast approaching

Friday June 25, the closing date to register an interest in hosting an activity or event during the 2021 Kerry Mental Health and Well-being Fest, is fast approaching. This year’s #KerryMHWFest will run from October 9 to 16. It is held annually to highlight World Mental Health Day on October 10. Organised by an interagency […]

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Friday June 25, the closing date to register an interest in hosting an activity or event during the 2021 Kerry Mental Health and Well-being Fest, is fast approaching.

This year’s #KerryMHWFest will run from October 9 to 16. It is held annually to highlight World Mental Health Day on October 10.

Organised by an interagency steering group, the key focus of the Kerry Mental Health and Well-being Fest is to promote mental health and well-being in Kerry through a fun and interactive programme of events.

“The Kerry Mental Health and Well-being Fest aims to create awareness of, and schedule events that empower people to engage with the Five Ways to Well-being – Connect | Give | Take Notice | Keep Learning | Be Active – as well as raising awareness of the available supports and services in the county,” Chair of the Steering Committee, Donagh Hennebry, said.

“The Fest has a wide reach across Kerry and we want to continue to build on its success in 2021. But we can’t do this without you! We are inviting anyone who is interested in helping us achieve our goal, by hosting an event(s) during #KerryMHWFest, to register online as soon as possible.”

The organising committee is a collaboration between Connecting for Life Kerry, Healthy Kerry, Kerry County Council, the HSE, NEWKD, SKDP, Kerry Mental Health Association, Jigsaw Kerry, Munster Technological University/Kerry, and Kerry Volunteer Centre.

To register your interest to host an event for the 2021 Kerry Mental Health and Well-being Fest, visit www.healthykerry.ie before close of business on Friday, June 25.

For more information about registration, promotion, or the Fest in general, please contact the interagency steering group at: kerrymhwfest20@gmail.com.

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Free and subsidised higher education courses for Kerry

  11 free and subsidised higher education places have been announced for Kerry under the Springboard+ 2021 and Human Capital Initiative (HCI) Pillar 1 initiatives. The courses, which open for applications today (Wednesday), will run at Munster Technological University Kerry. The courses on offer include a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy Management & Practice, a Certificate in […]

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11 free and subsidised higher education places have been announced for Kerry under the Springboard+ 2021 and Human Capital Initiative (HCI) Pillar 1 initiatives. The courses, which open for applications today (Wednesday), will run at Munster Technological University Kerry.

The courses on offer include a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy Management & Practice, a Certificate in Retail Food Service Operations and a Postgraduate Diploma in Bioeconomy with Business.

Over 10,000 places are available across both programmes nationwide in 2021.

Springboard+ provides free courses for people who are unemployed, people who have taken time out of work or education to raise their families or care for loved ones, or people who want to upskill. Now in its 10th year, over 75,000 people have benefited from Springboard+ to date.

Courses under the HCI Pillar 1 programme are aimed at graduates and offer incentivised places for them to reskill in areas of skills shortage and emerging technologies. These are being run alongside, and complementary to, the Springboard+ offerings.

For those in employment, the Government will fund 90% of the cost of a Springboard+ or HCI Pillar 1 course. The programmes are managed by the Higher Education Authority on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills.

Launching the programme, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, TD said, “As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, we will need to ensure that people have the skills they need”.

Helpline

Candidates who wish to participate will find full details on the approved courses on www.springboardcourses.ie. Experienced guidance counsellors will be available to advise potential Springboard+ and HCI Pillar 1 participants on their options on the freephone Springboard+ helpline: 1800 303 523. The helpline is open from 9.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday.

 

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