€774,933 has been allocated to Foroige to support the youth organisation’s Big Brother Big Sister Programme. The funding is from the Dormant Accounts Fund for which I’m responsible as Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development.
I’m delighted to approve funding for this application from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs regarding Foroige’s Big Brother Big Sister Programme. Foroige is a long-established youth organisation which works with and for young people in communities across Ireland with youth clubs, youth cafés, support programmes, neighbourhood youth projects and the Big Brother Big Sister Programme.
The Big Brother Big Sister Programme is an internationally recognised, professionally-supported youth mentoring programme through which volunteers support and mentor young people in communities throughout the country. The funding of over three quarters of a million Euro from the Dormant Accounts Fund will help Foroige to continue running the Programme which has two strands – community-based and schools-based initiatives.
The Programme is a great fit with the aims and objectives of the Department and Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone TD to help and support children and young people in a variety of ways. Minister Zappone has worked hard this year to secure extra funding for her Department and has overseen the roll-out of funding programmes for childcare providers as well as the Universal Childcare Subsidy and the Single Affordable Childcare Scheme which are benefiting families in all areas.#
The Dormant Accounts Act 2001 along with the Unclaimed Life Assurance Policies Act 2003 and the Dormant Accounts (Amendment) Acts 2005 – 2012 provide a framework for the administration of unclaimed accounts in credit institutions and unclaimed life assurance polices in insurance undertakings.
The main purpose of the legislation is to reunite account or policy holders with their funds. However, the legislation also introduced a scheme for the disbursement of funds that are likely to be reclaimed. This funding scheme is required to be used for the purposes of programmes or projects to assist:
- The personal and social development of persons who are economically or socially disadvantaged
- The educational development of persons who are educationally disadvantaged or
- Persons with a disability (within the meaning of the Equal Status Act 2000).Following the reorganisation of Government and the delegation of Ministerial functions in 2017, the Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development now possesses statutory responsibility for decisions relating to the disbursement of moneys from the Fund.