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Race relations - it’s child’s play

Published: Tue, 25 Mar 2014
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A number of events have been organised in Derry-Londonderry
The Walled City in Derry
Play formed the basis of fostering better race relations in the Strathfoyle area of Derry-Londonderry.
We have funded a series of trips and fun days for Polish and Irish children who live in the area in a bid to improve relations between the two cultures.
On Saturday past the children were taken on a tour of the Derry Walls and met the city’s Lord Mayor, Martin Reilly, at the Guildhall, where lunch was provided for the group.
And last Friday, children at St Oliver Plunkett School in Strathfoyle held a balloon launch at a traditional fun day. Children, staff and parents dressed in traditional attire and colours and served a range of Irish and Polish food. Dancers from both cultures provided the day’s entertainment.
As part of the project, kids and their parents also visited the Bowling Alley as well as taking part in a team building session at the Play Trail.  
Eddie Breslin is our Cohesion Advisor and explained that the trips form part of the Shared Communities Programme Good Relations Plan.
He said: “We hope to engage with the Polish and Irish children and parents in a bid to improve race relations and involve inter-generational groups. It will help improve relations between the two cultures and improve the quality of life and further enhance the shared space in the Strathfoyle area.
“The last of the four trips at the Guildhall was with the Mayor and highlighted the cohesion between the different religions and cultures,” he added.
Strathfoyle Community Association’s Michelle Curran said: “The events so far have been a great success and have helped break down a lot of barriers between the mixed culture of the kids and parents.
“Sometimes it’s hard to communicate due to the difference in the languages but both parents and kids have been paired together in different activities and this is working really well.
“We are hopeful that new friendships will now be formed,” added Michelle.