Currently Salesians are involved in the following four community based projects.

Southill Project

Recently we have undertaken a project to work with the young people of Southhill in conjunction with the Limerick Enterprise Development Partnership and the Regeneration Agency for the city of Limerick. We work with a large number of dedicated lay people and we seek to share our spirit and educational philosophy with them. We also try to collaborate with other members of the Salesian Family including the Salesian Sisters, Cooperators, and Past Pupils.

Study Buddies, Crumlin

The Salesian House in Crumlin hosts a programme for people returning to full-time study. The group called ‘Study Buddies’ has been particularly successful in getting people into to various programmes including University.

The ACRE Project

The ACRE Project is an eco-friendly horticultural project on a site on the Maynooth Road in Celbridge, Co. Kildare. It provides internal and external spaces in which local communities can gather and for the community to use.

In the latter part of the last decade, a small group of local people working in collaboration with the local Salesian Community began to reflect on what they could do to make a difference within their community and to strengthen the experience of living within the community and its environs. This group had a range of interests such as creative arts, to horticulture, education, doing business and living in an environmentally friendly way. Each had a strong belief that the future of a sustainable community lay in the engagement of the younger generation in the project.

In 2008, a site became available and was offered by the local Salesian community to this group for their use. The ACRE Project opened its doors mid-2010. This followed numerous events and activities designed to communicate to local individuals and groups the vision of the project and to generate the necessary funds to establish the facilities which are currently on site. In excess of sixty volunteers have worked and continue to work with the project and its core team. This ranges from fund-raising to supervision of activities to public relations to general maintenance.

The Project focuses on the following core elements, which often interlink and overlap:

• Community
• Environment
• Youth
• Non-formal education.

The ACRE Project ’s objectives are:

• to support the work of local community groups by making available to them the ACRE facilities and networking with those who have the necessary expertise to help such groups develop;
• to address active citizenship through various training and educational ventures;
• to create a space where people feel close to nature and in the company of others can draw benefit and inspiration;
• to develop with the cooperation of government agencies and voluntary organisations, new projects which involve young people and develop, monitor and evaluate strategies and methods of promoting the work of The ACRE Project.
• to promote good practice in education, horticultural and ecological activity;
• to promote mentoring activities;
• to promote volunteer work;
• to promote, support and encourage community organisations and schools whose activities promote the growth and care of young people, especially those with social and educational needs, youth on the margins and encourage community and environmental projects;
• to provide a structured environment where the generations meet and benefit from this exchange;
• to retain at all times a creative and innovative spirit.

For more information and use of facilities please contact Ken at ken@acreproject.com

Crinan Youth Project

The Crinan Youth Project is a community based drug treatment facility that offers a quality service to young people and their families. The project was established in 1996 in response to the heroin crisis and the lack of services for under 18 year olds who were experiencing problematic drug use in the North Inner City. Since it’s establishment, Crinan Youth Project has responded to the changing trends of drug use and the needs of young people and families affected by these issues.

In engaging particularly with young people who seek to address their drug problems, we recognise that many of them have already experienced social exclusion and a fundamental lack of choice in their lives. They may also be trying to process the many challenging dimensions of adolescent development.

In order to provide the most effective support to young people and their families the project places special value on the following process:

• Engage young people in alternative attractive activities
• Expose them to helpful new experiences
• Support them to develop flexibility in responding to the programme
• Build quality relationships
• Nurture the positive
• Challenge what needs to change
• Build-up young peoples’ self-esteem in creative ways
• Bring young people to a place of choice and responsibility in their decision making

We hope that by engaging in this process, young people will achieve a happier and better quality of life, both while they are on the project and in the future.

The project favours an environment which is drug-free. While this involves the total prohibition of opiates while on the programme, it also involves supporting young people to detox from all drugs in as short a timeframe as possible. Visit : www.crinanyp.org