MTSG was established in December 2000 to address the very poor health status of the Traveller community in the county and to work towards the achievement of human and cultural rights; the pivotal issues remain the same today.
Since 2002 there has been a significant increase in the number of Traveller families living in the county largely due to new family formations and families returning to live in Ireland; the primary centres of population being Ballina, Castlebar, Ballinrobe & Ballyhaunis.
Indigenous to the island of Ireland the Traveller community are an ethnic group that share a common history, value system, set of traditions, history, language and religion; however, it is important to recognise there are differences within the community that must be acknowledged and taken into consideration
What we do
MTSG is a community development organisation that works from the following principles:
- Collective Action – working together with others to achieve a common goal
- Participation – members of the Traveller community and the majority population work together in contributing to and sharing in the decision making of the organisation
- Equality – MTSG strategies confront prejudice and discrimination as outlined in the 9 grounds of the Equal Status Act 2004
- Human Rights – we all have rights as people and these rights must be respected
- Solidarity – doing ‘it’ with people not ‘for’ people
- Empowerment – the way in which knowledge, skills, resources and power can be transferred to people previously on the margin of society
- Identifying needs – MTSG researches the needs of the community
- Social change – addressing the root cause of poverty, oppression, injustice and inequality by influencing policies in order to create a more equal society
MTSG follows the World Health Organisation’s definition of health which states that “health is a state of complete physical, mental & social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” (WHO 2000) and recognised the determinants of health as a range of interacting factors that are underpinned by social and economic inequalities.
In order to address these inequalities a partnership approach across all sectors is needed to make a significant impact in reducing health inequalities. A significant part of the work of MTSG is to work in partnership with services and organisations to highlight, represent and respond to Traveller health at local, regional & national levels.
We are celebrating our 20th anniversary this year!
We currently have 2 Primary Health Care Projects, with 11 Community Health Workers covering the county. We also have a Community Development Worker and a Family Support project.