The evening at The Kitchen Business Centre, Ballymena, was facilitated by Ballymena Intercultural Forum. Radius tenants enjoyed a cookery demonstration by two women from Afghanistan who explained the dishes as they were cooking. The tenants then had the opportunity to sample the food and ask questions. This was followed by a facilitated conversation where the Afghani women shared their experiences of Afghanistan and living in Northern Ireland.
This event is just one of countless activities taking place across Northern Ireland and in the Republic of Ireland as part of the €1.1m Peace IV funded Housing Associations Integration Project (HAIP).
Laura Coulter, Good Relations Officer with Radius, said afterwards: “The intercultural evening provided an excellent opportunity and experience for Radius tenants to learn together. The workshop gave tenants insight into the lives and experiences of women from a very different culture and they also tasted the food from Afghanistan.”
A feedback from the event was very enthusiastic, with participants stating that they’d loved the experience.
One tenant commented: “I enjoyed the opportunity to learn from other traditions.”
Another added: “This was a great chance to learn about women from other cultures who have made their home in Northern Ireland.”
NIFHA is the lead partner for HAIP. The project is funded by the EU’s PEACE IV Programme which is managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). Four housing associations – Choice, Clanmil, Apex and Radius Housing Associations – are taking part, along with social housing organisations in the Republic of Ireland. TIDES Training are facilitating many of the workshops. Match-funding for the project has been provided by the Executive Office in Northern Ireland and the Department for Rural and Community Development in Ireland.
HAIP aims to improve good relations in social housing and to build positive relationships with local people and their neighbours from different cultures by organising training, workshops, community events and visits to cultural sites.