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Mayo Intercultural Action

I took part in Different Together because as a migrant woman, I wanted to have the knowledge and skills to get involved in my local community. The project has equipped me with the necessary tools on how to deal with different problems that affect society to promote social change. Since taking part in the project, I feel empowered and confident ... I have a better understanding of community work ... I am now ready to be involved in my local community and make a change. If possible, I want to go further by doing social studies or community work in third level education. I am so glad I did the course and will recommend it to anyone who is passionate about social change, equality and justice. A big thank you to Pobal for funding the project, Mayo Intercultural Action and NUI Maynooth.




Mayo Intercultural Action’s Different Together – Building a Sustainable Model of Integration provides training and support to local community leaders with refugee status.  The aim of the project to increase participants’ capacity in negotiating and monitoring integration.  In addition, participants will develop the skills to support their local communities. The project works with vulnerable refugees.
The main objectives of Different Together include:
  • To equip participants with the skills to engage effectively with local communities in their sustainable development.
  • To establish inclusive, intercultural community resource groups that strengthen social cohesion between refugees and the majority population.
  • To promote the mainstreaming of project learning with key local and regional organisations on the implementation of practical and policy responses to integration.
Mayo Intercultural Action is delivering a specially designed and accredited training and development programme, Community Work in a Changing Ireland.  The training programme is Level 8 (special purpose) on the National Framework of Qualifications.  The course is being delivered in co-operation with the Department of Applied Social Studies of NUI Maynooth and other project partners.
The project is being delivered in collaboration with project partners who are either leading different activities and/or sitting on the project Mainstreaming Committee.  The project partners are:  Mayo County Council, Mayo County Development Board, Galway Mayo Institute of Technology, Mayo Rape Crisis Centre, Galway Refugee Support Group, An Garda Siochána, Mayo North East Leader Partnership, South West Mayo Development Company, Mayo County Community Forum, Citizens Information Service and Mayo Children’s Initiative.
This project completed in May 2013.
Case Study
​Our training and development programme is tailored to meet the needs of the target group, who are vulnerable refugees. The Training and Development programme is flexible and includes a pre-development phase and continuous one-to-one support.
The pre-development phase of the programme is designed to develop the confidence and capacity of the individual students to participate fully with the project.  This phase includes personal and group development sessions which focus on personal capacity, coping skills and sharing information  amongst the group.  This phase is also critical in strengthening group cohesion and formation of group identity.
This phase is further enhanced by the provision of one-to-one support to each participant. One-to-one support is provided through scheduled meetings and informal sessions between the participants and project staff. The purpose of the one-to-one support is to give participants an opportunity to feedback about their experience of the project and how it is being delivered.  Participants can also raise concerns and an appropriate support plan is put in place to meet their needs.  This may also include referring students to  other services. 
The project also facilitates group visits by the participants to local community development projects. As a result of this contact, participants have an increased knowledge of community structures and the community development projects have an increased awareness of refugees and migrant communities in their local area.