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Minister for Learning Dr Alasdair Allan meets next generation of Scotland’s crofters

17 January 2013

Issued by Soil Association Scotland

Crofting Connections, a unique crofting project for children and young people in the Highlands and Islands, will launch its second phase at Plockton High School tomorrow (Friday 18 January).

The launch event will be addressed by Minister for Learning Dr Alasdair Allan and attended by pupils, teachers, crofters, MSPs and representatives from the Crofting Commission and the Scottish Crofting Federation.

The acclaimed Plockton Music School will be performing a selection of traditional music at the launch event and Margaret Bennett, story-teller, musician and folklorist, patron of Crofting Connections will provide the closing address.

Crofting Connections is a project run by Soil Association Scotland, in partnership with the Scottish Crofting Federation. The project enables children and young people living in crofting communities throughout the Highlands and Islands to learn about crofting past, present and future. It aims to increase children’s and young peoples’ understanding of the connections between crofting, food, health and the environment.

The second phase of Crofting Connections, which is funded by the Scottish Government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Heritage Lottery Fund, will run for three years and extend the geographical coverage of the project in the crofting counties.

Dr Alasdair Allan, Minister for Learning said: "Crofting has had a key role in the development of the Highland economy and its identity over a number of centuries. It’s also a way of life, and it is important that the younger generation learn about how crofting has influenced Highland life as part of a broad education, as well as fostering a potential new generation of crofters for the future.

"Curriculum For Excellence is the perfect framework for delivering this fantastic project and with a food element to it, Crofting Connections will help to ensure that every pupil in Scotland has the opportunity to learn more about the food journey from plough to plate.”

Laura Stewart, Director Soil Association Scotland, said: “In the Year of Natural Scotland, we are delighted to be working with our partners to continue to build on the success of Crofting Connections. We look forward to supporting more young people to learn about the contribution of crofting and the crofting counties to Scotland’s natural heritage. The second phase of this unique project will also help to create stronger partnerships in local communities, between schools and community-owned crofting estates, crofting landlords, social enterprises and local businesses.”

Rachael McCormack, Director of Strengthening Communities with Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), said: “Crofting Connections is a very welcome project which will help young people take up crofting opportunities, or return to their communities after college or university. Rural communities across Scotland need to attract and retain people, and it is important to develop new ways to help these places become more resilient and sustainable. Crofting is an intrinsic part of the Highlands and Islands economy, and this initiative will complement HIE's role to support crofting communities.”

Councillor Alasdair Christie, Chairman of The Highland Council’s Adult & Children’s Services Committee, said: “We are delighted to be hosting the launch of the second phase of the Crofting Connections programme.  The first phase captured the interest and imagination of staff and pupils across a wide range of primary and secondary schools in Highland.  The programme introduces pupils to historical, social, cultural and environmental topics in a context that they all recognise and leads them on to inter-disciplinary work that addresses matters such as sustainability, employment, land management and the importance of their cultural heritage. It is a very good programme.”

 

Ministear airson Ionnsachadh, Dr. Alasdair Allan a’ coinneachadh ri  ginealach ùr de chroitearan an Alba

Thèid an ath phàirt den phròiseact croitearachd ‘Ceanglaichean Croitearachd’ airson clann agus daoine òga anns a’ Ghàidhealtachd agus na h-Eileanan, a chur air bhog air Dihaoine (18mh Faoilleach) aig Àrd-sgoil a’ Phluic.

Bi Dr. Alasadair Allan, Ministear airson Ionnsachadh, còmhla ri sgoilearan, tidsearan, croitearan, buill Pàrlamaid agus riochdairean bho Coimisean na Croitearachd agus Caidreachas Croitearachd na h-Alba an làthair air an latha.

Bi ceòl ann bho Sgoil Ciùil na Gàidhealtachd agus bi Mairead Bennett, sgeulaiche, neach-ciùil agus rannsaiche dualchais a’ cur crìoch air an tachartas mar pàtran a’ phròiseact.

Tha a’ phròiseact Ceanglaichean Croitearachd air a’ ruith le Comann na h-Ùireach ann am com-pàirteachas leis an Caidreachas Croitearachd na h-Alba. Tha a’ phròiseact a’ toirt cothrom do chlann agus do dhaoine òga a tha a’ fuireach anns na coimhearsnachdan tro a’ Ghàidhealtachd ‘s nan Eilean (HIE) gus ionnsachadh mu eachraidh, na tha a’ tachairt an dràsta agus na thachras anns an àm ri teachd ann an croitearachd. Tha a’ phròiseact ag amas air tuigse a thoirt seachad air na ceanglaichean eadar croitearachd, biadh, slàinte agus an àrainneachd.

Bi an dàrna phàirt de Ceanglaichean Croitearachd, air a mhaoineachadh le Riaghaltas na h-Alba, Iomairt na Gàidhealtachd ‘s nan Eilean agus Maoin Dualchas a' Chrannchur Nàiseanta a’ ruith airson trì bliadhna agus air a’ leudachadh airson barrachd sgìrean croitearachd a thoirt a-staigh dhan phròiseact.

Thuirt Dr. Alasdair Allan, Ministear airson Ionnsachadh: “Tha croitearachd air a bhith na phàirt chudromach ann a’ leasachadh eaconamaidh agus ìomaigh na Gàidhealtachd thairis air n linntean. ‘Se dòigh-beatha a th’ann agus tha e cudromach gun ionnsaich an ath ghinealach mu dheidhinn mar a tha buaidh air a bhith aig croitearachd air a’ Ghàidhealtachd, mar phàirt den foghlam nas leathainn a bharrachd air ginealach ùr de chroitearan a bhrosnachadh.

“ Tha Curraicealam airson Sàr-mhathais na dhòigh mhath gus am pròiseact seo a’ libhrigeadh agus le biadh mar phàirt dheth, cuidichidh Ceanglaichean Croitearachd a h-uile sgoilear ann an Alba cothrom barrachd fhaighinn  a-mach mun turas a bhitheas biadh a’ gabhail bho talamh gu bòrd”

Thuirt Laura Stiuibhart, Stiùiriche Comann na h-Ùireach: “Anns a’ Bhliadhna Alba Nàdarrach, tha sinn toilichte a bhith ag obair còmhla ri buidhnean eile airson togail air soirbheas aig Ceanglaichean Croitearachd. Tha sinn a’ coimhead air adhart le bhith a’ toirt taic do daoine òga gus ionnsachadh mu dheidhinn an ceangal eadar croitearachd agus na sgìrean croitearachd ri dualchas nàdar na h-Alba. Mar phàirt den phròiseact thèid ceanglaichean nas làidir a chruthachadh eadar coimhearsnachdan ionadail, eadar sgoiltean, oighreachdan air an sheilbh le coimhearsnachdan, luchd-seilbh croitearachd, iomairtean sòisealta agus gnìomhachasan ionadail.

Thuirt Raoinaid NicCaramaig, Stiùiriche Neartachadh Coimhearsnachdan aig HIE: “Tha sinn a’ cur fàilte air am pròiseact Ceanglaichean Croitearachd , a bheireas cothrom do dhaoine òga croitearachd a thoirt suas neo tilleadh air ais dha na coimhearsnachdan as dèidh a bhith aig colaiste neo aig an Oilthigh. Feumaidh coimhearsnachdan dùthchail air feadh Alba daoine a thàladh agus a chumail agus tha e cudromach gun tèid dòighean ùra a chruthachadh airson agus gum bi na àiteachan sin nas seasmhachd agus nas làidir. Tha croitearachd na phàirt cudromach anns na eaconamaidh aig a’ Ghàidhealtachd ‘s nan Eilean agus tha an iomairt seo a’ cur ris na tha HIE a’ dèanamh airson taic a thoirt do coimhearsnachdan.”

Thuirt Comhairliche Alasdair Christie, Cathraiche Comataidh Seirbheisean airson Inbhich is Clann aig Comhairle na Gàidhealtachd: “Tha sinn air leth toilichte gu bheil an darna phàirt den phròiseact ‘Ceanglaichean Croitearachd’ ga chur air bhog. Ghlac a’ chiad phàirt den phròiseact uidh agus mac-meanmainn na tidsearan agus na sgoilearan anns na bun-sgoiltean agus àrd-sgoiltean tarsaing na Gàidhealtachd. Tha am pròiseact a’ toirt cuspairean leithid eachraidh, cuspairean sòisealta, cultarail agus àrainneachail ann an dòigh a tha iad ag aithneachadh agus a’ leantainn air gu cuspairean eile mar seasmhachd, obair, riaghladh talamh agus cho cudromach sa tha an dualchas cultarail. ‘Se pròiseact uabhasach math a th’ann.”


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