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Ten years of success for Monaghan and Portadown partnership (MAPP LTD)

Published on:  04 Dec 2008

Monaghan and Portadown Partnership (MAPP Ltd) recently celebrated ten years of success at a special ceremony at the Armagh City Hotel.

MAPP Ltd is a cross-community and cross-border organisation which offers training and employment programmes to unemployed adults aged between 18 and 28 from the Upper Bann, Armagh and Newry areas of Northern Ireland and counties Monaghan, Louth and Cavan in Southern Ireland. Since the inception of MAPP Ltd in 1998, over 1,000 young people have participated in the programme.

The programme is part of the International Fund for Ireland’s Wider Horizons Programme. It aims to promote employability and mutual understanding, through the Open College Network accredited training in basic occupational skills and by providing relevant work and life experience. The work experience is provided both at home and overseas with the overseas work lasting between 6 and 8 weeks in locations such as the USA, Canada and Europe.

Following the training period at home, participants gain hands on experience across a wide range of occupational arrears including information technology or office administration. The work placements overseas offer participants the opportunity for personal development, encourages intercommunity and cross-border relations and increases the employability of participants on their return to Northern Ireland.

Denis Rooney CBE, Chairman of the International Fund for Ireland said at the event: “It is truly inspirational to hear these young people talk about their journey on the Wider Horizons Programme and to hear how they have used their work experience and new skills within their own communities. The programme brings hope to young people from both communities, offers new career prospects and helps build a better, more positive future for them.

“The International Fund for Ireland holds the programme in great esteem and has approved £4 million for activities in 2009, MAPP Ltd is one of three organisations who deliver the Wider Horizons Programme on behalf of the International Fund for Ireland. This significant financial contribution shows how committed we are to funding programmes that contribute to building a shared and more peaceful future for generations to come.”

Martin McCrystal Manager of MAPP Ltd said: “In the time MAPP Ltd has been operating and running programmes, we have experienced much political and economic change in Northern Ireland that is for the good.

“This Programme brings about an enormous change within the participants and we see them return from their work experience more confident, better equipped and positive about the future. It is thoroughly rewarding and we are delighted to be here today celebrating the success of our participants and the strength of the Programme.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved with MAPP Ltd, all the programme co-ordinators and host organisations, the International Fund for Ireland and of course the young people. Without their enthusiasm and hard work, we wouldn’t have got this far.”

The success of the Programme is measured by the percentage of participants who enter full time employment/education and through assessment of the mutual understanding benefits gained by them.

Keith Calvin who participated on the Programme in 2003 said: “I am extremely thankful for the opportunity MAPP Ltd gave me. I didn’t have any job prospects before, but I have now moved into employment and have been able to buy my own house.  On the Programme I learnt a lot about mutual understanding and mixing with people from other backgrounds and I made life-long friends. I would thoroughly recommend anyone aged 18 – 28 to get in touch.”

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