31 October 2017
This was the second in the Council series of the ‘Who do you think we are?’ events were we try and learn more about who we are in Northern Ireland, our common heritage and who lives here today.
Members of Belfast Friendship Club came to White River House Hotel on Tuesday 17 October to host Small World Café Conversations were participants shared their own very personal stories of their lives and why they enjoy living in Northern Ireland today.
The Friendship Club welcomes members from all over the world as well as local people. Some have come here from personal choice and others came to Northern Ireland fleeing war and violence in their own countries, trying to start again, tragically often leaving family members behind. Hosts from Italy, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Zimbabwe, India and Bangladesh shared some of the stories of their lives. While the stories were often shocking and tragic, the people, their warmth and their willingness to carry on against hardship and phenomenal odds was truly inspirational.
The Mayor of Newtownabbey Councillor Paul Hamill who was in attendance at the event said “Often we see media coverage of wars around the world but today we learn how it affects individuals, people like you and me with families and friends and jobs who find their lives in turmoil through no fault of their own.”
The event was also one of many taking place across the UK for ‘Hate Crime Awareness Week’ with the theme ‘We stand together’. Sergeant David Boyd from the PSNI and Kathy Wolff from the Community Relations Forum were also in attendance to outline the support services they provide locally for individuals affected by hate crime.
The ‘Who do you think you are?’ programme forms part of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council’s good relations activities which receives financial support from The Executive Office. Forthcoming highlights of the programme include the opportunity to hear some local history with a visit to Sentry Hill, a local cemeteries tour, a visit to the Whitehouse and the story of the United Irishmen at the Old Courthouse, Antrim. For further information on these programmes contact the Good Relations team on 028 9034000 or log on to antrimandnewtownabbey.gov.uk/events to book your place.