A Welcome on the Mat – a project of CAN’s that sets out to contribute to the development of more sustainable intercultural communities. This work started in 2018 when CAN facilitated a dialogue in Dublin 8 to explore the experience of people of minority ethnic backgrounds living in mostly white Irish communities. The dialogue included minority ethnic group organisations, people from local community groups and relevant statutory agencies. Three strands of work were identified as necessary to improving quality of life. They were to do with developing practical supports at local level, enacting policies that support integration and provision of intercultural learning programmes.
In January our first intercultural learning programme started with twenty one participants from minority ethnic backgrounds and organisations, community organisations, approved housing bodies and statutory organisations. It provides a learning opportunity on how to build intercultural community through engagement in a culturally diverse group and offer frameworks on interculturalism, dialogue and community building. It takes place on one morning per week and runs for twelve weeks.