Roscommon Integration and Diversity Project
Name / Title
Roscommon Integration and Diversity Project
Case Study Region
West of Ireland
West of Ireland – Galway, Mayo, Roscommon – with a concentration on Roscommon
Main activity / focus
Training immigrants into different areas of work, i.e. start your own business course, interpretation and translation course, a range of interpretation and translation services for Roscommon area.
Target beneficiaries / market
Legal migrants in County Roscommon
Current Funding source(s)
Funded by Roscommon Integrated Development Company who in turn is funded by the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and other Government Departments currently known as Department of Community, Equity and Gaeltacht Affairs.
Single Organisation running the Roscommon Integrated Development Project
Roscommon Integration and Diversity Project started in 2007 under the direction of the Roscommon Partnership Company now Roscommon Integrated Development Company (RIDC). RIDC sees the importance of ensuring ethnic minorities actively participate in all the decision making arenas that impact on their quality of life. The Integration and Diversity Project ensures that all actions are based on the needs of the community, and representatives of ethnic minorities are represented on the steering committee that oversees the programme of work for the project and specific actions. The broad make-up of the committee follows the principles of community development as this is one of its key elements to the success of the project. The Integration and Diversity Project (IDP) will develop the process of integration of immigrant families across County Roscommon. The project will achieve this by recognising all aspects of integration process and complimenting the actions within the framework Roscommon Intercultural Strategy.
The work of the IDP links with regional and national organisations on issues that affect immigrants in the county. This cooperation helps to keep and inform immigrants on all issues that arise at all levels. The IDP is community based with principles of community development being the core of its success. The Diversity Project aims to adopt a community approach and to ensure that the target group continues to be involved in the identification, design, delivery, and evaluation of the project. To continue building the existing relationships that has developed with the ethnic groups and among the frontline agencies and to avoid duplication in service delivery and lever additional funding and supports from within the voluntary and statutory sector as necessary.
The Integration Diversity Project aims to empower immigrants through provision of support and training so that they can contribute positively in the society they reside in. Training will be offered to the committee of ethnic minority led organisations so that they have the skills to carry out roles that promote the process of integration in the county. The group works with other agencies in promoting the different cultures that are represented in County Roscommon. The aims of the project have been realised through the delivery of various initiatives such as; the publication of a newsletter called “Ros Voice” published by RIDC and has been acting as a platform whereby immigrants can express themselves on how they are integrating into the society that they now call home. It is hoped that “Ros Voice” will continue to be published in 2009 and offer the readers with an insight of lives of immigrants living in the county. So far two issues have been published and circulated in the county. Street Soccer was set up to provide an opportunity for immigrants living in County Roscommon and who have a passion for playing soccer to get involved in this sport and as a way of socialising. Citizenship Training was an additional initiative undertaken under the IDP which provided an opportunity for all immigrants in the county to assess the value of taking part in the voting process in any local elections. The initiative provides an opportunity for those who are aspiring to engage in politics have an understanding on how the structures operate in Ireland. Translation Services was another initiative which focuses on the development of a pool of translators with the training necessary to offer their services on a self-employment basis to agencies requiring translation services. It therefore has a dual outcome – the provision of self employment opportunities for individuals from different ethnic minorities and the development of a much needed pool of translators/interpreters who can be utilised by the community and statutory sector as required.
Through simple community initiatives the IDP has not only provided a social outlet for Roscommon immigrants but it has successfully integrated many individuals into community life. The project has enabled the Roscommon community to interact with immigrants and see them as individual people with concerns and worries similar to their own. It is an excellent initiative with a project leader that can identify with immigrants as well as see the value of integration.
Joseph M. Nyirenda,