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Creative Connections

I have benefited from Creative Connections in terms of the support the group gave me. I was new to Ireland and the course was something I could look forward to. The creativity, the space and the guest artists allowed the imagination to go wild. I don’t think I could have got through the year without it. I also feel the skills that I have learned will be useful to me in my future career. The opportunity to facilitate intercultural arts groups was transformative.” .

Creative Connections Participant


The Cork Integration Project is a joint initiative between Nasc, Cois Tine,               Cork Midsummer Festival and Mayfield Arts Newbury House

This project aims to address the discrimination and exclusion experienced by Third Country Nationals.  The project works with members of the Muslim faith, women and children. 

 The project promotes integration in three ways:

  1. Nasc delivers the Integration Through Learning strand for Third Country women.  The aim of this scheme is encourage the women’s integration and support their transition into employment. The women attend a range of classes to improve their English language and computers skills.  Training modules also include an introduction to life in Ireland, pre-employment skills and developing personal leadership capacity.
  2. The Muslim-Christian Dialogue strand is delivered by Cois Tine.  This initiative delivers seminars that raise awareness and facilitate dialogue about Islam and Christianity.  The seminars are free and open to the general public.

  3. Creative Connections is an intercultural arts training programme run by Mayfield Arts Newbury House and Cork Midsummer Festival.  A group of Irish and Third Country women train together as intercultural arts facilitators.  The participants deliver intercultural arts workshops to the wider public and they also perform at the Cork Midsummer Festival.  Participants also have the option to study for HETAC levels 5 or 8 accreditation. 
The Cork Integration Project completed in February 2013.
Case Study - Integration Through Learning
Integration through Learning provides tailored training to 17 women from around the world who are now living in Cork. 
When we first advertised the training course, we distributed posters throughout the city.  However, the majority of the participants made contact with us through Nasc’s legal and information clinics.  This means that the participants and their families had already developed trust relationships with Nasc and that they were open to accessing the course.  The group is culturally diverse and the participants have differing beliefs around the role of women.   Attending a mixed gender class may not have been culturally acceptable to some participants.  This course provided a culturally appropriate environment for learning.

The training modules are designed to meet the specific needs of our participants.  When we initially planned the training courses, English language acquisition was not a critical priority.  However, when we interviewed potential participants, they told us that they needed English in order to engage with day-to-day life such as interacting with their children’s schools, doing their shopping or trying to find work.  As a result of this, we ‘front load’ all the training modules with English language classes. 
Our project helps participants to access further training and other supports when they need them.  We also provide support with CV preparation when they apply for work.
At the end of this project, we will bring the lessons we’ve learned with this group to other key organisations in education and integration throughout the city.