WCD's Integration and Diversity Project aims to strengthen intercultural interaction and integration among the immigrant communities. 

The Westmeath Integration and Diversity Strategy which was prepared by WCD and was launched on the 25th October 2013, is a culmination of intensive inter-agency work between local organisations who are actively involved in and have taken a proactive approach to supporting immigrant integration and promoting inter-culturalism throughout county Westmeath.

To read the Westmeath Integration and Diversity Strategy 2013-2017 click on the link below

16227-westmeath com dev.pdf

Launch of Westmeath Integration and Diversity Strategy 2013-2017


Joe Potter, CEO Westmeath Community Development, Una Conlan CEO Irish Refugee Council, Cllr Peter Burke Cathaoirleach Westmeath County Council and Rashid Butt, Chairperson Westmeath Immigrants Network

Asylum seekers living in Co Westmeath are housed in overcrowded accommodation for years on end without the right to work, according to Sue Conlon CEO of the Irish Refugee Council. “They survive on a tiny allowance” she said while speaking at the launch of the Westmeath Integration and Diversity Strategy 2013-2017 at Bloomfield House Hotel last week. She praised the initiative of Westmeath Community Development in taking action to produce and implement a strategy aimed at strengthening inter-cultural interaction, integration and training and employment opportunities. While critical of the Governments approach to asylum seekers, she said that the strategy is “a very good document”.

The Strategy was launched by the Cathaoirleach of Westmeath County Council, Councillor Peter Burke. It was drawn up as part of the European Refugee Fund project by Westmeath Community Development with the input of Integration Centre, Westmeath County Council and other agencies and organisations including voluntary groups and has been endorsed by the Westmeath County Development Board.  The strategy document features actions centred on the five themes of: Access to Jobs and business opportunities, Access and managing diversity in Education and Training, Active Community Participation, Access to public services, Racism and Discrimination.

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Information Events on Voting rights

Westmeath Community Development in cooperation with Westmeath County Council have organised tow information evenings for immigrants in Mullingar and Athlone. These events are due to take place on Tuesday 29th October at 7pm in the Annebrook Hotel Mullingar and on Thursday 31st October at 7pm in the Sheraton Hotel Athlone.

The need for these information evenings was addressed by Hubert Rooney of the ERF programme who was working alongside Westmeath County Council in drawing up the Westmeath Integration Strategy 2013-2017. After consulting with different organisations representing immigrants in Westmeath, it was highlighted that there was a lack of information regarding immigrant's eligibility to vote in elections. The aim of these evenings is to clarify the different voting entitlements and procedures to make sure immigrants can avail of their voting rights.

For further information on the European Refugee Fund programme contact Hubert Rooney at Westmeath Community Development on 090 64 94555 or email hrooney@westcd.ie 



'Trauma Tears and Hope'

'Trauma Tears and Hope' which is a four part documentary series which highlights the conditions of Asylum seekers living in Athlone is due to air on June 22nd at 5.30pm on Athlone Community Radio 88.4fm.

This radio documentary will give an insight to the lives of asylum seekers who are generally recognised as one of the most marginalised groups in society. 'Trauma Tears and Hope' will focus on research from a survey carried out at the Lissywoolen site in Athlone. The documentary series will highlight issues such as anxiety and depressive disorders among asylum seekers and will feature personal experiences of people who have been affected by this in the Athlone area and will also contain interview with professionals who work with these disorders to hear their opinion on these issues.

This documentary series is funded by the Mary Raftery Journalism Fund and is produced and edited by award wining producer Irena Cvetkovic and presented by Simmagele Ndlovu.



Information Event in Athlone Accommodation Centre

Left to Right: Bridie Costello, Le Cheile, Sandra Frazier, Simmy Ndlovu, Patricia Kagadora, Lissywoollen Residents Group, Hubert Rooney, Westmeath Community Development, and Heidar al-Hashimi, Lissywoollen Residents Group.

An information day was held for the residents of Athlone Accommodation Centre for asylum seekers in Lissywoolen Tuesday 28th May, the aim of this information day was to bring all the organisations involved to one site to provide residents with some awareness of what is available around Athlone.

This event was organised by the Lissywoollen Residents group with the support of WCDL.

Present on the day were representatives from Westmeath VEC, the National Learning Network, Midland Regional Youth Services and Westmeath Community Development to answer any questions people had about useful supports, assistance or projects that were on offer.

For further information contact Hubert Rooney of the ERF Project on 09064 94555 or hrooney@westcd.ie



Lissywoolen Photographic Exhibition

The Athlone based, Lissywoollen Photography Group, will hold hold a Photographic exhibition and Launch of their work on Tuesday 29th January @ 7.30pm to 8.30pm in Athlone Library, Civic Offices. 

Mrs Mary O’Rourke will launch the exhibition

For further enquiries please contact Leah Quinn 090 64 94555 or lquinn@westcd.ie.

This projected is supported by Westmeath Community Development through the European Refugee Fund and the Local and Community Development Programme.


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