Spiddal's Club Gaeilge has launched its first crowdfunding appeal. This type of fundraising is new to all of us, so we hope you will bear with us as we work through the kinks. We have set a reasonably modest target at €2,000, which, along with other contributions, is enough to run the club for around three months.
The story so far...
Local musician Nóra Geraghty, on moving to the Gaeltacht, found there were obstacles to acquiring the language which are rarely encountered when learning foreign languages. The growing prevalence of English as the lingua franca in Gaeltacht areas means that in between weekly classes learners can have few opportunities to practice their Irish. Recent research strongly suggests that the Irish language is in danger of dying out if something is not done to encourage the daily use of the language among both learners and native speakers.
Although there was strong support among locals and learners for the idea of a club to address these issues, in the atmosphere of austerity there was no funding available, so after a year and a half, Nóra and Meaití Jó Shéamuis decided to gather a group of supporters and start the club and fundraise on the way along.
The club has been running since the end of March offering conversation groups, story telling, poetry and music, with growing attendance at our weekly meetings and cultural evenings. Currently the club is running three weekly events and more projects and one-off events are planned, including a local phrase book, a campaign aimed at encouraging locals to speak Irish to strangers, singing and drama workshops and a Christmas concert.
Feedback forms will shortly be in circulation at club events (see: http://www.gaeilge.club/ ) and we welcome all suggestions and comments. Unlike formal classes, Club Gaeilge events promote the social use of the Irish language, so if we hope to be as useful as possible we need to know what sort of social events people would enjoy.
Still seeking support of all kinds
We hope this crowdfunding campaign will put us in the black - we've been in debt since we started - but even with financial security we need all the support we can get. We need books, games, CDs and other materials for our library, and we need support from native and fluent speakers too. We need help spreading the word and making new comers feel welcome.
The aim of the project is not just to help learners acquire the language, but to help native speakers understand what they can do to help, and this begins with dialogue between speakers of all levels. It is our hope and wish to provide pleasant and enjoyable settings for these dialogues to take place.
We appreciate your support!