Cohesion, Sharing & Integration Consultation Event
16th October I attended the Youth Event Consultation
organised by the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First
Minister on the Programme for Cohesion, Sharing and
Integration. I brought along with me two friends, Roya
Loughlin and Lisa McReynolds. We arrived early to help set
everything up and ensure the day would run as smoothly as
possible. People started to arrive it vast numbers, from all
over. There was a diverse range of people, different
religions, background and race, all hoping to learn and contribute
something new in the day ahead.
As an introduction two girls performed a
dance. This was based on different cultures trying to better
one another but at the end it showed how even if we are all
different, we are equal, which is what the purpose of this meeting
was. We all then participated in learning a dance by an
African man, Tura. This motivated us all and raised our
spirits for the day that was commencing.
After this, the Policy Lead, Evelyn Hoy gave a
speech and presented a slideshow on what the aims for the project
were and what we would be doing during the day. We were then
given three separate questions which we had to discuss with the
people at the table we were at and then move and shuffle about to a
new table, to people we had not met before, to gain a wide range of
answers and opinions.
The three questions were:
1. Do you feel safe in
2. What are the
reasons that make you feel unsafe?
3. What can you do to
make it safer?
We all discussed these thoroughly and wrote
our thoughts and opinions on the table covers. By the end of
the day there was a wide range of ideas, most artistically
designed. My table even made a ‘diverse jellybean family!’
There were a lot of different ideas, however everyone was willing
to listen to everyone else and try to take on board other ideas to
help benefit them.
At the end of the meeting there were mixed
emotions. Some people felt happy as if they had learnt
something and others felt frustrated and found it difficult to
understand things and the way Northern Ireland is. However, I
think everyone agreed that the meeting was a success and everyone
benefited from it