Finnish Visit to Westmeath and Offaly May 2016
From the centre of Finland to the centre of Ireland...
Earlier this month, Westmeath Community Development and Offaly Local Development Company (OLDC) welcomed a group of young people from the centre of Finland to the midlands of Ireland. Accompanying the group were representatives from two LEADER companies from the mid-Finland region: Anni Mari Isoherranean and Joanna Tiitto from Keskipieste LEADER and Rita Kovacs from Rieska LEADER. The group visited a number of youth, community and tourism projects whilst on their stay in the midlands including the Hill of Uisneach, Mullingar Youth Cafe, Moyvoughly Foroige Club and Dun na Si Heritage and Amenity Park in Moate in Westmeath. On the Offaly side the group visited youth groups and facilities in Edenderry, Ferbane and Birr as well as the Lough Boora Parklands.
The LEADER Programme has provided a mechanism for trans-national projects to take place. Through providing a platform for the cross-fertilisation of ideas, participants benefit through exchange of knowledge and know-how thus assisting them to find solutions to the challenges facing rural communities. WCD and OLDC have worked with LEADER in mid-Finland on various trans-national initiatives in the past. This particular visit was concerned with exploring the possibility of developing rural youth initiatives between the two countries in the future.