The Integration Question with Princess Pamela Toyin: Integration has a sporting chance in the Dublin 15 area
2018-11-01 14:46:31 -
Integration
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By Princess Pamela Toyin

 

In its efforts to foster unity among migrants, Children4WorldChildren held another event using sports from around the world to bring migrants in the Dublin 15 area in the capital’s northwest together with their host communities.

Serving as an instrument of entertainment, education and promotion of better integration, this year’s event involved migrant communities displaying and showing skills of indigenous activities under the banner ‘Sports Across The World’.

Organiser and event co-ordinator Wunmi Excel from Nigeria said: “Last year when we did ‘Belonging 17’ where we carried out a research among young people with regards to outdoor sports they loved to indulge in, especially traditional indigenous sports. They wanted to know what their parent’s childhood was like and how to engage in it, so that gave birth to Sports Across The World.”

The objective, Wunmi said, was for young people to engage in those games to foster a greater sense of identity, and so that the sports won’t go into extinction. “Outdoor games also build up their intelligence and leadership skills,” she added.

Former Mayor of Fingal Keiran Denison, who was special guest of honour on the day, commended the initiative and said he was glad once again to be celebrating with the area’s colourful migrant communities.

Also present was Fingal Ethnic Network (FEN) chair Kesava Golapalli, who attended with young people from ITB and Dublin Business School.

Sports and games featured included Ayo Olopon, a board game from southern Nigeria; kati and lenga from Kenya; and Dambe boxing from northern Nigeria; as well as the Telegu Tigers and Kadambas cricket teams from India. Also on display were GAA skills from Ireland and other indigenous local games from India, Turkey, Brazil and Japan.

Providing entertainment for the crowd were hip hop artist Des Ebelle, Turkish folk song led by Asli Stokes, A2 Fashion, Brazilian samba dancers, Osun Descendants Union Ireland’s cultural dancers, and the Alma Bolivian folk dance group. The duo MCs for the day — ID Noble and Deaconess Yemi Ojo, founder of Integration of All Children in Ireland (IACI) — added sparkle to the event.

Pleased with the initiative and turnout despite the chill in the air, Yemi noted it was important for the children to communicate and understand their world through the context of their parent’s indigenous languages, values and traditions.

Kesava emphasised the use of using music and sports as tools to bring communities together, and that there were no cultural or language barrier to integrate with the two together. “Sports Across The World truly demonstrates how cultural integration works through sports,” he added.

Supporting organisations on the ground were representatives from Tritees Promotions, Osun Descendants Union Ireland, Wezesha, Echoes International and Telegu Welfare Association Ireland. Also at the event was Larry McDermott, games promotion officer with the GAA’s Dublin County Board, who gave a brief talk on Ireland’s indigenous games with a demonstration provided by young players from the local GAA club St Peregrine’s.

Sports Across The World was funded by Fingal County Council with support from Mulhuddart Community Centre, Wezesha, Marycare Foundation, Exams Master Class and Mulhuddart Butchers & Veg.

Christabel Ategie, founder of Children4WorldChildren, was excited by the day. “There’s so much diversity. I learned so many new sports and enjoyed playing them,” she said.

Wunmi added: “Ireland has become a multicultural society. The Children4WorldChildren long-term plan is advocating to protect our traditional games from going into extinction. Passing our childhood games on to younger generations and the Irish community will be a better way to preserve these indigenous games.”

Dr Ebenezer Ajayi, a forensic pathologist and community leader in Dublin 15. was pleased at the successful outcome of the event. “The event was a melting pot of different cultures from different nationalities across the world. It was a fruitful day,” he said.

Glowing with pride, Wunmi concluded: “I feel so good about Dublin 15 because it is multicultural, bringing people from different nationalities to celebrate diversity inclusion and social integration together, especially the young migrant community.”

 

- Princess Pamela Toyin is a journalist, author and TV presenter who has gained experience since the mid 1980s working in various fields and interacting with people of different tribes and ethnicity. With her passion for diversity, she is propelled to report a diverse range of issues that facilitate intercultural dialogue and integration, which can change social, economic, and cultural stereotypes, and believes there are lessons to be learned from everyone. Talk to her on +353 (0) 87 417 9640 or email echoesmediainternational@gmail.com

 

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