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Children from St. Patrick’s Primary Dungannon have fun celebrating cultural differences

Children at St Patrick’s Primary School in Dungannon were full of smiles and cheer at a special event to celebrate cultural difference thanks to a grant from the Housing Executive.

P6 pupils were taking part in a project called Let’s Talk Race and Racism, which explored diversity and encouraged respect for different cultures.

The project, organised by the North West Migrant Forum, taught the children how to communicate better, create togetherness and to explore ways of dealing with racism.

P6 pupils try on clothes decorated with ethnic designs

Vice-principal Roisin Campbell said: “On the last day of the project we held a special celebration of cultures. Children were able to try on costumes, perform dances from various nations and find out about food from different countries,” she explained.

“The Housing Executive approached us to see if we would be interested in hosting this project with our P6s because of diverse populations in the Dungannon area, to create an awareness of cultural issues, reach out to the wider community and to promote tolerance beyond the school gate.

“Our pupils all get along very well in school and this has given them new ideas to consider. The children really enjoyed the project which stretched them and it was a big success.”

Anne Marie Convery, the Housing Executive’s good relations officer for the area, said: “We were delighted to be involved. We want to help promote good relations, and increase public awareness of cultures and traditions of minority communities.

Housing Executive Good Relations Officer Anne Marie Convery (back, right) with teachers and children from St Patrick’s Primary School who took part in a cultural awareness project

“Our goal is to support connections and relationships between existing and new communities and to build relationships of trust as children socialise with each other.”

Anne Marie added: “We strive to help people feel part of the wider community. Using our Cohesion Fund, we can support excellent work like this in local schools.”

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