We are a group of people who campaign for the Welsh language and the communities of Wales. We recognise that the campaign for Wales' unique language is part of a wider world-wide struggle for minority rights and freedoms.
- Are you concerned about the increasingly unsustainable housing situation across the country?
- Frustrated by a media landscape that doesn't serve the needs of Wales?
- Wish you spoke Welsh but were let down by the education system?
Cymdeithas yr Iaith is a group of people who campaign positively in a non-violent way for the rights of the people of Wales to use the language in every aspect of their life.
In 1962, leading academic Saunders Lewis argued there had to be radical change in order to save the Welsh language; thousands of young people responded to his call. For nearly 60 years, Cymdeithas yr Iaith has been leading the way to promote and protect the Welsh language.
- 1960's – campaign for bilingual road signs
- 1970's – campaign for a Welsh language television channel
- 1982 – establishment of S4C, the world's only Welsh language television channel
- 1980's – campaign for a Property Act to ensure the sustainability of housing in Welsh-speaking communities
- 1993 – Welsh Language Act 1993, public bodies required to offer limited Welsh language services
- 2000's – campaign for a new Welsh Language Act
- 2010 – Language Commissioner and official status for the language under the Welsh Language Measure
- 2011 – Coleg Cymraeg established to create Welsh-medium provision at university level
Cymdeithas yr Iaith has progressive policies in four main areas designed to promote the language:
The Welsh Language Measure 2011 requires organisations to provide some services in Welsh, but this is limited to certain public bodies and does not include businesses, not even banks and large retailers. We are campaigning to strengthen the Measure to include rights for people to use Welsh in every aspect of their lives.
We believe that the education system should ensure that all our young people become Welsh speakers by the time they leave school, and that everyone should be entitled to local Welsh-medium education, and full Welsh language provision in colleges, universities and beyond. The education system should also educate young people on political systems and activism, and how to make a difference in the world.
The housing market is often out of reach for local people. The planning system should reflect and work for the benefit of the community by assessing local housing needs and ensuring sufficient affordable homes to buy and rent. We are calling for a Property Act that would ensure the sustainability of our communities.
Cymdeithas yr Iaith believes that the only way to ensure a media that serves our communities is to devolve the powers for broadcasting from London to Wales and create our own broadcasting regime
But isn't the Welsh language safe now?
While the number of people able to speak the language has risen slightly, many factors such as globalisation and a severe decline in the number of Welsh language communities still threaten the language. The decline has been slowed, but to ensure the language thrives in the future, we believe that everything must change.
But I'm not one for protesting...
What's the alternative – accept everything without question? The essence of Cymdeithas yr Iaith is found in its approach of non-violent direct action; this could mean anything from writing a letter about the lack of a Welsh language service or collecting names on a petition to protesting and even painting slogans. Our focus is on encouraging and supporting our members to contribute and develop their skills for the benefit of their community.
What can I do?
Remember, Cymdeithas yr Iaith is a community of people, that means you! Together we can lead the way to ensure a future for the Welsh language.
Contact us for more information on our campaigns, and how you can be part of Cymdeithas yr Iaith.
Join the revolution!
firstname.lastname@example.org / 01970 624501