Last year’s IEN core grant for Good Energies Alliance Ireland made a huge difference in Ballinaglera, County Leitrim, because both the organization and the community benefited. GEAI was able to rent an office in the Community Hall and contribute towards overheads. This provided the basic infrastructure for Good Energies and also helped to revitalize and make more economically sustainable the local Hall, which acts as a community centre. Such centres are an essential facility in every community, but even more in rural Ireland.
The office is now the headquarters of the GEAI work. It also contributed to one of the biggest leaps forwards for Good Energies: hosting three volunteers from other European countries through the European Voluntary Service (EVS). The office provided the work environment our volunteers need to do all they are doing (researching, designing publicity materials, managing social media and media relations, etc). Now, thanks to the core grant, there are people working every day in the Community Hall.
That means that Good Energies is doing more work but also providing more services to the community. Since GEAI rented the office it is open for all the people that need printing or Internet access, services difficult to find in rural areas. The number of activities in the Hall has also increased. For example, every month there is a “Movie Night”, where a film is screened in the Hall. This event is now starting to attract people throughout the area. Another important activity is the Junior Disco, for kids from 10 to 14 years old.