Asdee the first in Ireland to win Gold at International Facilitation Awards

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The Asdee community in North Kerry continues to go from strength to strength as they won gold at the Facilitation Impact Awards ceremony, held online on Monday 25 October. The awards hosted by the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) recognises processes that encourage powerful change using facilitation. Asdee adopted this approach while creating their community-led 5-year socio economic development plan (2020-2025), which was successfully launched, by Minister Norma Foley and award-winning journalist Katie Hannon, last year. The facilitators, namely Paul O’ Raw, Breandán Ó Caoimh and Rishi Ballal, encouraged an inclusive process, through well-attended community workshops, going door to door with surveys, and connecting through the community website www.AsdeeVillage.com.

The IAF is a participatory organisation with members in more than 65 countries. They set internationally accepted industry standards, provide accreditation, support a community of practice, advocate and educate on the power of facilitation, and embrace the diversity of facilitators. This is the first time an international award of this kind has reached Irish soil. Asdee’s impressive execution of their community-led development plan sees them listed among 16 awardees, such as China Bank, Russian Railways, Swiss Biopharma and a leading Canadian asset management company.

“We are thrilled to have won an international award of this standard. For Asdee to be the first in Ireland makes it extra special. The ethos of the group is to push the boundaries of what’s possible, by continually striving to make positive changes in our community. The past three years have been a whirlwind for us, but we have learned a lot along the way. We are lucky to have so many great people who are always willing to roll up their sleeves to get the work done”, comments Lorraine McElligott, Treasurer.

Asdee understands and appreciates that people need each other, and the Development Association is determined to revive and nurture community spirit. Up to 90% of the community were involved in the creation of the plan, from school children to senior citizens, to diaspora around the world. The plan has become their collaborative roadmap for the creation of structures, spaces and places, while celebrating their existing assets. During the development of their socio-economic plan, the facilitators transformed modest aspirations into ambitious, yet achievable objectives. Facilitation has harnessed the power of their community, enabling them to work together to build a brighter future.

Paul O’ Raw, Community Consultant and Facilitator, comments “Asdee was a pleasure to work with, they were open to new ideas, we encouraged them to think differently, challenge themselves and they took all of our advice on board. They are an inspiration to other community groups around Ireland. They are already implementing projects from the plan and to my knowledge, lots of other groups are already in contact with them asking for advice.”

Asdee’s 5-year socio economic development plan has led to productive working relationships with NEWKD, Kerry County Council, County Councillors, state agencies, and organisations key to the implementation of the plan. Good facilitation can change the way people think and act, and ultimately support them to positively change the world around them. Facilitation has changed the landscape for Asdee and the future looks bright with many exciting projects on the horizon.

Photo by: Domnick Walsh – info@dwalshphoto.ie – 087 2672033