Local development company, North, East and West Kerry Development (NEWKD), in partnership with Trakt Piastów of Wielka Polska (Greater Poland), launched the ‘Women Active in Society Transnational Development Programme’ on Tuesday last (May 18).

The initiative aims to increase awareness and participation of women in the north, east and west Kerry area under three key themes: farming, local producing and business.

The main focus of the project will be the sharing of experience and knowledge between women in Kerry and Poland, and how they can use this to benefit their own farm or enterprise.

The women in farming sessions will look at women’s networks and participation in local and regional decision making. Increased networking and sharing of learning between women farmers in north, east and west Kerry and Wielka Polska (Greater Poland) will be facilitated.

Greater representation and participation by women farmers in local decision making bodies, especially those influencing agricultural policy, will also be fostered by the ‘Women Active in Society’ programme.

Women Active in Society programme

The initiative will be launched in late June via three virtual training seminars.

“This programme is unique in that it is a transnational initiative, built in collaboration with a similar group of women based in Poland,” said John Loughrey from NEWKD.

“The programme will involve training sessions and group project work here in Kerry. It will also involve exchange visits with Polish women hosted in Kerry, and women from north, east and west Kerry traveling to Poland.

“The exchange is designed to improve our networks, learn from each other and build relationships that will allow women to grow their business.

“This programme will support women to take a more active role in society through increasing engagement and participation across each cohort, and in connection with our partners in Poland. We feel this unique offering will have a significant impact on those who are selected to participate,” he said.

The programme will be delivered in Ireland by the Entrepreneurs’ Academy and delivered online initially, with plans for face-to-face group sessions in August, September and October.

“Participants will have the opportunity to meet, share and learn from each other in Kerry and Poland under the leadership of our content experts, who will support them on a journey of growth for both them and their business.

“We are delighted to be able to bring this programme to people in partnership with Trakt Piastów,” said John Stack, chairperson at NEWKD.

The programme is free of charge due to funding from the EU under the LEADER Rural Development Programme 2014 – 2020, but spaces are limited and it is a requirement to sign up online.