Published 27.11.2023
by Kids’ Own

Our Lives, Our Voices; Kid’s Own New Book Titles Have Arrived!


In 2022, young people from the Traveller and Roma communities took part in a creative project with Kids’ Own called Our Lives, Our Voices. As part of this creative project, these children collaboratively authored two remarkable non-fiction books: “Grow Up Strong” and “The Real Us.” These books have now arrived at Kids’ Own HQ, are set to launch soon, marking a significant milestone for the Our Lives, Our Voices initiative!  The children were guided by our Associate Artists Francesca Hutchinson and Danny Brennan, along with mentor Mary Branley,

The Our Lives, Our Voices project empowered children from Traveller and Roma communities to take the reins in shaping their own narratives. Spearheaded by Kids’ Own in collaboration with the Cork Traveller Visibility Group and the Cork STAR project, with support from Tusla Education Support Service. The project was funded by the Toy Show Appeal and The Community Foundation of Ireland, with additional funding support from Cork TVG and TESS. The Irish Traveller Movement and the Yellow Flag programme provided advisory supports at key points in the project.

The forword to The Real Us is written by Gina Miyagawa, the Roma Education worker with STAR (Supporting Traveller and Roma) project, where she states “..writing this book is a first for us at least here in Ireland. In this book you will be able to see small glimpses of their day-to-day life such as what is means to be the only boy in the house with ten sisters around, or how faith helps to shape their basic human core as young Roma girls. Some children talked about wanting to show the world that they could be smart and how important it it for them to achieve their goals in life.


Grow Up Strong’s forward is written by Rachel Coffey, the Traveller Education Worker on the STAR (Supporting Traveller and Roma)  project in Cork City.  She says “Together with our young lackeens (girls) and sublics (boys), we wanted to give our young people a brave and safe space to discuss our culture, identity and barriers facing our community…….This book and the accompanying resource will be an excellent tool for your schools and classroom. We hope that it can break down barriers, make our young people proud and also help everyone learn more about our rich culture”.

We’re very excited to share these books with you. Stay tuned as Kids’ Own prepares to unveil the launch date for “Our Lives, Our Voices,” celebrating the resilience, creativity, and unique experiences of these inspiring young voices.

This project was funded by The Toy Show Appeal, the Community Foundation for Ireland, Cork Traveller Visibility Group, Cork STAR Project, Tusla Education Support Services and the Arts Council of Ireland.