The Manuela Riedo Foundation Ireland (MRFI ) has announced that €38,950 has been allocated to professional support agencies for victims and survivors of sexual assault and rape in Ireland. The funding also aided the development of a sexual violence prevention and education pilot programme aimed at transition year students which MRFI initiated in 2015.
A number of fundraising events were held throughout the country during the year. A team of 250 people took part in the Dingle half and full marathon in September, ‘Team Manuela’ raised €12,000 in the process. Other fundraising events included fire-walks, a gala black-tie ball, as well as a church gate collection in April.
Many of Galway’s young musicians and singers from the secondary school community took part in a commemorative concert to celebrate the naming of a Galway gleoiteog heritage boat in Manuela’s honour, which took place in St Nicholas’ Collegiate church.
Thanks to and as a direct result of the hard work, time and dedication of its volunteers, the foundation is now in a position to allocate funding of €38,950. This brings the total amount of funding to date, to just under €290,000.
Recipients of funding include Galway Rape Crisis Centre (GRCC ), which will receive €7,830 to reduce the waiting list for long term counselling, Mayo Rape Counselling which will receive €4,000 in funds to train voluntary therapists in the Mayo area, and Rape Crisis North East which will receive just over €2,000 towards training for 10 helpline volunteers. This will give immediate access to a wider range of women and men who are in need of crisis intervention in Louth, Meath, Monaghan and Cavan.
Also receiving support will be child and adolescent Sexual Assault Treatment Service West and Mis-west Ireland in partnership with Children At Risk in Ireland (CARDI ), which will receive just under €5,000 for its vital work.
In addition, Children At Risk in Ireland and Sexual Assault Treatment Unit (SATU ) at Rotunda Hospital Dublin will receive support for their Child AdvocateVolunteer and Accompaniment Service. CARI will set up a service to accompany children 14 years and under to the Rotunda SATU and will receive €5,770. This project, in conjunction with one already in place in Galway, will play an important role in the ultimate establishment of similar support services for child victims of sexual abuse throughout Ireland.
Support was also given to The National SATU conference as it was once again supported by the MRFI. This important conference which took place in Galway in October last year, brings together international and national best practice to those working in frontline positions of forensics, policing, care, therapy and medical practice.