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Contact: Freda Keeshan



Telephone: 01 8148860

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OPEN EWM Project Graduation
13 November 2012
A total of 18 participants from OPEN’s ‘Shaping YOUR Future’ Programme, which is funded under the Equality for Women Measure (EWM), were presented with FETAC Level 4 certificates by Miriam O’Callaghan, RTÉ, in the Oak Room of the Mansion House, Dublin on 17 October 2012.   The graduation event was attended by graduates, OPEN staff, programme funders and the guest speaker (Miriam O’Callaghan) who commended the courage and tenacity of the women, all of whom are lone parents, in overcoming sometimes enormous barriers to participate in education, training or employment.  Miriam O’Callaghan commended OPEN on their programme of engagement as did the various speakers, including one participant on the programme, who spoke eloquently about how the programme built her confidence and skills to prepare for entry or re-entry to the labour market. This was a combined graduation event with 16 graduates of OPEN’s ‘Grow Your Own Future’ Certificate in Organic Horticulture, which is a FETAC Level 5 Major Award.
OPEN is the national network of one-parent families and works to improve the inclusion and progression of one-parent families within Irish society. The ‘Shaping YOUR Future’ Programme is a career planning programme developed by OPEN. The project is funded under the Equality for Women Measure (2010-2013), with funding from the European Social Fund (ESF) through the Human Capital Investment Operational Programme 2007-2013, and the Department of Justice and Equality. 
The initiative aims to provide lone mothers with a training programme; quality career guidance; and one-to-one mentoring and support to enable them to build their self confidence and to develop a personal career plan to enter or return to the labour market.  The programme themes are delivered over 16 sessions. Participants use a specially designed ‘Shaping YOUR Future’ Resource Pack, detailing the information, activities and assignments for each session. Based on the learning gained from designing and delivering the ‘Shaping YOUR Future’ Programme, OPEN has developed an innovative “Training for Trainers” two-day workshop, and has delivered this on several occasions.