The Minister for Diaspora Affairs, Jimmy Deenihan TD, launched two new initiatives on Saturday: the Global Irish Media Fund and a pilot summer camp program, designed to enhance connections with the Irish diaspora for high schoool students aged between 15 to 17 from the U.S. and elsewhere. Final details will be announced in December.

Speaking at the Global Irish Economic Forum, Minister Deenihan said:

"I am delighted to launch these initiatives as part of the Government’s commitment to strengthening links with the diaspora. The Global Irish Media Fund will support media professionals to bring to life stories of the diaspora experience, while our pilot summer camp programme will allow the next generation of the global Irish to connect with the country of their ancestors.’

He added: “The pilot summer camp program will provide younger members of the Irish diaspora with the opportunity to visit Ireland on a short immersive visit in the summer of 2016. The program will be primarily educational in nature and designed to encourage students to develop a deeper connection with Ireland.” 

Summer camp program participants will have the opportunity to travel to visit rural and urban areas, to learn about the country’s history and to experience the modern face of Ireland. For this pilot phase the program will be available to high school students aged 15 - 17 years based in the U.S. only. The course will last two weeks "to learn about the country's history and to experience the modern face of Ireland."

The program will be referred to as Preamhacha, Irish for roots, is based on the Israeli Taglit-Birthright scheme. The USA willl be the first participating country with more countries to come.

Further details on the summer camp program will be announced in December 2015. 

On the Global Irish Media Fund, Minister Deenihan said:“The Global Irish Media Fund will encourage quality reporting of all aspects of the Irish emigrant experience. The successes and the challenges of our emigrants, both recent and distant, are of interest to Irish people and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade wishes to facilitate more reporting of these stories.” 

The Global Irish Media Fund will support news organizations and journalists to tell stories from, and about, the Irish abroad and the impact of emigration on those at home. The deadline for applications for 2016 funding is 5pm on January 15, 2016. 

More information can be found here.

A pilot summer camp program will give high school students of the Irish diaspora a chance to visit Ireland.ciee.org