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Les Gallois de Patagonie (07 août 2015)


First Minister Carwyn Jones to consider further funding for Welsh language project in Patagonia

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: July 31, 2015

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The First Minister says he is ready to consider more funding for a Welsh language project in the Argentine region of Patagonia.

He made the comments on the final day of a visit to the Chubut province to mark 150th celebrations of the first Welsh settlers arriving.

The Welsh government currently gives £65,000 to the Welsh Language Project, which has been running since 1997 to promote Welsh in the area.

Every year, three language development officers from Wales spend from March to December teaching in Patagonia, and there is a permanent teaching co-ordinator from Wales based in the region.

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The scheme receives funding from the British Council and the Wales-Argentina Society, but there are calls for more money.

An extra £20,000 or £30,000 would make a "big difference" according to academic monitor Gareth Kiff.

The First Minister saw first hand how the scheme has helped, as he visited one of only two schools in the region that teach in Welsh and Spanish.

"Thirty years ago people said Patagonia, great — but the language was going to die there. Nothing could be done to save it," he said.

"And yet we see that what's being done here means that the language will be transferred now to new generations."


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