Rural village of Kerry wins world gold for ambitious community development plan

The people of Asdee, a small rural village in North Kerry, won gold at an international awards ceremony for their ambitious community development plan.

The Asdee Community Development Association has won the award for its five-year community-led socio-economic development plan (2020-2025) and is the first in Ireland to win a facilitation impact award. International Association of Animators (IAF).

Asdee’s impressive execution of his community-driven plan saw him among 16 winners from 14 countries, such as China Bank, Russian Railways, Swiss Biopharma and a leading Canadian asset management company.

The awards, organized by the IAF, recognize processes that encourage powerful change using facilitation. The IAF is a participatory organization with members in over 65 countries.

They set internationally accepted industry standards, provide accreditation, support a community of practice, advocate and educate on the power of facilitation, and embrace the diversity of facilitators.

Asdee’s community plan facilitators, namely Paul O’Raw, Breandán Ó Caoimh and Rishi Ballal, encouraged an inclusive process, through busy community workshops, door-to-door surveys and login through the community website www.AsdeeVillage .com.

‘Over the moon’

“We’re absolutely over the moon really, we’re thrilled. It is a huge honor for a small village in North Kerry, and it is recognition of what the committee and the wider community have done over the years as part of the Asdee Development Association, ”said John Kennedy, president of the association.

Mr. Kennedy said the secret ingredient in the winning plan was buy-in from all members of the community.

We are like most other places in the country, with all the negative things like emigration, lack of jobs, people leaving and business closings.

“There was no point in talking about it, it was about doing something to bring our village back to life. It was about community buy-in and everyone willing to be part of a team. winning, which we are now, “he said.

Up to 90% of the community was involved in the creation of the plan, from schoolchildren to the elderly to the diaspora around the world. The plan became their collaborative roadmap for creating structures, spaces and places, while celebrating their existing strengths.

Speaking specifically of the IAF award, Mr Kennedy said this could not have happened without the hard work of their subcommittee of Lorraine McElligott, Mary Mulvihill and Eoin Kennedy.

“The group’s philosophy is to push the boundaries of what is possible, continually striving to bring about positive change in our community,” said Association Treasurer Lorraine McElligott.

“The past three years have been a whirlwind for us, but we’ve learned a lot along the way. We are fortunate to have so many great people who are always willing to roll up their sleeves to get the job done, ”she said.

Sara H. Byrd

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