Integration of older migrants
Polish seniors have arrived in Ireland between 2012-2016 mostly to assist their families to look after Polish migrant grandchildren born in Ireland and to child mind while parents at work. Other than this they feel very isolated but have exceptional skills brought from Poland and by providing them short training and volunteer opportunities they may bloom and reach their hidden potential to take on an important role in the community.
Group of Active Seniors Razem, run for another year by the project coordinator Ewa Ikwanty, was one of our showpieces which we could proudly boast about.
Last year was another very active and productive year for them, full of great ventures, trips, training, actions and programs. Our seniors are extremely enthusiastic and willing to take on even newer challenges, the implementation of which is supervised by the group coordinator.
The main programs in which seniors participated are presented below:
‘I Speak Polish. What’s your superpower“
Through this project we wanted to involve Polish elderly people in active citizenship roles. We provided them with training in skills necessary to become volunteer language assistants to Polish children in Polish schools run by our Centre
The Surfing Seniors
This project funded by the Community Foundation of Ireland was delayed and finally completed in June 2020. We were able to help participants overcome fear of new technology and allow them to navigate through challenges in life with higher degree of confidence by learning how to use the Internet, especially social media and all online communication tools. We are extremely lucky we were able to train our Polish elderly members of the community on modern technologies just before COVID-19 hit Ireland.
Cybersecurity programme by Bank of Ireland Better Together Fund
The plan of this programme is to provide educational workshops with the aim to learn about the advantages of online banking, online shopping, secure ways of online payments etc. The programme had to be postponed to 2021.
This was a short-term project aimed at encouraging older people to find traces of Polish history on Green Island. During the classes, seniors created a library with historical publications in which the fates of Poles living in Ireland were described. Participants also learned about the preparatory work for creating a book collection and cataloging, as well as various ways of searching for valuable historical materials. As part of the project, participants visited memorial and historically important places in County Cork and Ireland and met with interesting guests.
Books for Polish patients Cork Mercy Hospital
While working on the project "Senior's Cupboard", the project participants came up with the initiative to create a library available to Polish-speaking patients at the hospital. It was one of the most important initiatives in 2019. Seniors were committed to creating a library for patients at Mercy University Hospital. So that our compatriots who are in the hospital, as well as their families, have free access to books in their mother tongue.
The book crossing project was conducted by Together-Razem Centre under the patronage of Cork City of Sanctuary. Thanks to the courtesy of the management of Mercy University Hospital, the first book collection was created there, and our volunteers are still watching over this project.
The ‘Surfing Seniors’ Project
The Surfing Seniors project funded by the Community Foundation of Ireland was created in cooperation with the Polish Biblary library from Dublin. The project was addressed to seniors from Cork and the surrounding area as well as Dublin and the surrounding area. Its aim was to familiarize the elderly with the possibility of using smartphones and online services which are more and more often present in our lives.
The project included a series of classes related to the possibilities of online services, preceded by a workshop on the practical use of smartphones / computers. During the classes, the participants of the project were also introduced to issues related to social law in Ireland. The project was planned for implementation at the turn of 2019 and 2020. The final product is the information leaflet “Social support in a nutshell”.
Together for National Spring Clean
Active Seniors Razem and children from the Razem Academy help clean the world
National Spring Clean is a social campaign that encourages all local communities to actively participate in cleaning their immediate surroundings and take responsibility for litter. The Together-Razem Centre has been involved in National Spring Clean campaigns for years, encouraging volunteers and people associated with the organization to clean up together. This year, seniors chose a beach near Ringaskiddy, and the children of the Together Academy chose Inch Beach in East Cork