Lus na Gréine host successful Intercultural Day in Granard

Longford Leader Reporter

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Survival’ was the name of the game for a group of young people from Granard wh recently took part in an insightful and challenging three-day intercultural workshop.

It sought to raise awareness of the plight of the many displaced people who have fled from their homeland in search of safety across the globe, and the arrival of Syrian Refugee families to Ireland, and in particular to County Longford. Respond Support, the implementing partner for the Refugee Resettlement Programme in County Longford developed this programme, in partnership with Lus na Greine Family Resource Centre.

The programme was aimed at young people, aged from 13 to 18 years old. Twenty young people took part in the event and were joined by a further group of six Syrian young people for days two and three of the workshop. Young people participated in activities such as map reading and navigation, first aid skills, combat nerf, camouflage and concealment, arts and crafts and in trade of teaching the Syrian boys some GAA skills, the young people learned Arabic.

A key part of the initiative involved the young people creating a welcoming space for visitors and newly arrived people and families to Granard. They worked hard to create a fabulous piece of street art on view outside the FRC which depicts the common interests of young people across the world in friendship, sport and music.

Positioned in a pivotal spot under the art installation and sheltered in a little alcove is a thought provoking ‘buddy bench’ designed by the young people and planted with sweet smelling summer bedding.

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Lorna Lavery, Resettlement Worker with Respond Support commented, “We are so proud of the young people here in Granard who have shown exemplary leadership and empathy in their efforts to reach out to our new families and ensure they know they are part of a welcoming and caring community.”

The multicultural event was praised by the young people as being hugely beneficial in breaking barriers and increasing their understanding of the hazards and challenges endured by their peers.

Tara Fagan one of the young people who participated in the workshop said that the group really hope that people will use the seat to further friendships and enjoy time together.