Established in 1981 as the Community Workers’ Co-operative (CWC), Community Work Ireland (CWI) is a national organisation that promotes and supports community work as a means of addressing poverty, social exclusion and inequality, promoting, protecting and advancing human rights and ultimately achieving social change that will contribute to the creation of a just, sustainable and equal society.
WHAT WE DO
The CWI currently has two overarching goals under which there are five strategic priorities:
CWI values reflect the values of community development and it is these that underpin the work of the organisation. Community Work Ireland believes in and is committed to the values outlined below and as set out in the All Ireland Standards for Community Work:
- Collectivity –Working in a collective way that emphasises the right of members to collectively influence the work of the organisation. A collective approach requires practitioners to focus on the potential benefits for communities rather than focusing only on benefits to individuals. CWI believes in and is committed to collaboration and partnership approaches to achieving common goals;
- Community Empowerment – Community empowerment involves an approach which leads people and communities to be resilient, organised, included and influential;
- Social Justice and Sustainable Development – Promoting a just society involves promoting policies and practices that challenge injustice, poverty, inequality, discrimination and social exclusion, and valuing diversity of identities and approaches. Promoting a sustainable society involves promoting environmentally, economically and socially sustainable policies and practices;
- Human Rights – In seeking a society where human rights and equality are realised and discrimination is addressed, community development is reinforced by human rights mechanisms and frameworks, processes and standards for the protection and promotion of human rights for all;
- Equality – Promoting equality and challenging inequality and oppression
- Anti-discrimination – CWI is opposed to discrimination in all its forms and is committed to working to eliminate discrimination;
- Participation – Participation is rooted in the self-identification of needs and interests, the formulation of responses by the community or group concerned and is central to their ability to continue to influence outcomes.
CWI is committed to putting these values into practice underpinned as they are by those of professional commitment, integrity, transparency in governance and team approaches to decision-making. The voice of CWI members is central to all CWI work.