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Ombudsman for Children’s Office ACCESS Programme Partnership

Ombudsman for Children’s Office ACCESS Programme Partnership

December 01, 2019

As an official partner of Baboró’s ‘ACCESS Programme’, the Ombudsman for Children’s Office (OCO), through Baboró's Bus Subsidy Scheme, helped 2,997 school children to attend the 23rd Baboró International Arts Festival for Children last October.

Baboró’s ‘ACCESS Programme’ improves access to the arts for all children regardless of geographic, economic, physical, intellectual or cultural status. Supporting and liaising with schools is critical to improving this access and the programme delivers on this by providing free and subsidised events for school groups, bus subsidies for schools and free tickets for teachers, special needs assistants and children within underprivileged communities.

With transport costs increasing annually, providing a subsidy for school buses removes a financial barrier to children having access to quality creative arts experiences. Through the partnership with the Ombudsman for Children’s Office, Baboró has been able to increase the number of children that benefit from the subsidy by 34%. 29 schools across Galway City and County are to receive subsidies for the costs of transporting 2,997 children to the festival, up from 2,240 in 2018.

“We want to see an Ireland where all children and young people are actively heard and respected so that they experience safe, fulfilling and happy everyday lives,” said Aoife Carragher, Communications Manager for the Ombudsman for Children’s Office. “We are always seeking to promote new ways of working with and for children. We are delighted to have had a direct impact on improving the lives of children in Ireland by supporting Baboró’s ‘ACCESS Programme’ and their school bus subsidy scheme.”

Baboró and the Ombudsman for Children’s Office each have the rights of the child at the heart of their constitutions. The Ombudsman for Children’s Office is a human rights institution that promotes the rights and welfare of young people under 18 years of age living in Ireland. One of the cornerstones of Baboró’s foundation is the right of each child to enjoy arts and culture, as stated in Article 31 of the UN Convention on the rights of the Child.

“Baboró’s mission is to inspire children to engage with the world through their experience of the creative arts. We are delighted to have partnered with the Ombudsman for Children’s Office who recognise the value of the creative arts in the development and education of children,” said Aislinn Ó hEocha, Executive Artistic Director of Baboró. “Their support of our ‘ACCESS Programme’ has enabled more teachers to bring their students to the festival despite limited financial resources.”

The 2019 festival was presented to an audience of almost 24,000 with a total audience of 10,426 children from city and county schools. 802 free tickets were given to teachers and Special Needs Assistants (SNAs).

About The Ombudsman for Children’s Office

The Ombudsman for Children’s Office (OCO) is a human rights institution that promotes the rights and welfare of young people under 18 years of age living in Ireland. The OCO investigates complaints about services provided to children by public organisations. The service is free and independent.

The Ombudsman for Children Act, which sets out the role and powers of the Office, was agreed by the Dáil and the Seanad in 2002. The Ombudsman for Children is a presidential appointment and reports directly to the Oireachtas.

Dr Niall Muldoon was appointed Ombudsman for Children in February 2015 by President Michael D. Higgins.

For more information about the Ombudsman for Children's Office visit www.oco.ie.