After school club celebrates diversity
Published: Fri, 12 Feb 2016
Children at a multi-cultural after school club in south Belfast are getting busy this week creating decorations for Chinese New Year.
The club, funded by us, brings together primary school aged children from a diverse range of ethnic minority groups and religious backgrounds.
Based in Annadale’s community centre, the club provides a creative space where children can play together, make artwork and take part in a variety of workshops which explore different countries and cultures.
Organiser Jeanette McMillan, from Annadale Haywood Residents Association, said:
“Currently the children are working on decorations for Chinese New Year. We’re having our own party in Annadale this week when the colourful artwork will be on display.
“We run the after school club once a week and these sessions include a multi-cultural educational programme (MEP) – this year we’re delighted the programme is being funded by the Housing Executive.
“The children have an opportunity to interact and to learn about and appreciate other cultures. They also get to know about the migration of people, cultural habits and the need for everyone to get along and respect difference.
“The programme has been hugely successful in that it has helped us build cohesion within this community and improve relations between the indigenous community, large Chinese community and other BME communities residing in the Annadale area.”
Our Good Relations Officer, Emma Galway, said:
“The children are having a wonderful time playing together and creating artwork. We are proud to support this fantastic programme in Annadale which is helping to build relationships within the community.
“The Housing Executive aims to develop shared areas where people choose to live with others, regardless of their religion or race, in a neighbourhood that is safe and welcoming to all.”
We also fund English classes, run by Annadale community group, for people from BME communities to improve language barriers and build confidence.