Cork Migrant Centre (CMC) Programs
CMC Programs and activities are conceptualized within a psychosocial framework which pays attention to migrant’s individual, family and collective risk and resilience processes in relation to ways in which migration (pre-migration, migrating, post-migration), social, cultural, structural (migration policies and practices) and institutional (health, education, political, economic and religious) processes shape their lives. The Centre aims to promote healthy psychosocial functioning by addressing risks and nurturing strengths and/or resilience in these levels. The programs are delivered mainly by migrants themselves in culturally sensitive way.
The programs target all children, youth, adults and families from all five direct provision centres in Cork (Clonakilty – no of residents, 101); Millstreet (Drishane Castle – no. of residents 270), Ashbourne House (no. of residents, 95); Kinsale Road (KRAC – no. of residents 278); Glenvera (no. of residents 127) as well as migrants settled in the local Cork community (refugees/asylum seekers and economic migrants) to strengthen their wellbeing capacities and aid their integration into the Irish Community. The psychosocial programs target empowerment by giving these vulnerable individuals a voice and strengthening their physical, emotional, cognitive and social health. It also aids in their integration process. CMC engages with this population at their most vulnerable (when they have little or no English at all, when they are so insecure, uncertain, voiceless, stressed) when their psychosocial vulnerabilities act as a big challenge to engaging with available resources.
The programs are comprised of the following:
This facilitates Psychological first aid; information clinics; tangible support (inclusive of filling out various kinds of application forms); English classes (four days a week); mediation services to bridge migrant/service provider cultural misunderstandings and an outreach programs to other migrants living in the local community reflecting the recent demographics of migrants in Ireland
Mothers’ and babies’/toddler coffee mornings:
This activity involves creating a safe space for mothers and babies/toddlers to give them an opportunity to create social bonds, to network and engage in health promoting activities. Currently, this group has over 50 mothers and over 10 babies and toddlers weekly. In these coffee mornings that take place every Friday morning 10.00 – 12.30 a.m., mothers participate in capacity building activities facilitated by skilled psychosocial practitioners while the babies/toddlers are engaged in play in the form of developmentally appropriate ‘music for babies’ sessions facilitated by music therapists. The mothers take part in workshops on subjects that they themselves identify. They have engaged on workshops (5 – 10 block sessions) on topics ranging from ‘Stress and Stress Management’, ‘Reproductive & Sexual Health’ and are currently engaged in a ‘Parenting and Education Skills’ program.
Wellbeing and Integration through Culture and the Arts (WICA) project. This project has two elements:
which is comprised of I hourly weekly workshops to 10 young asylum- seeking children (8-12) all from one of the direct provision centres in cork (Ashbourne House Direct provision Centre). The workshops are facilitated by an Art therapist although they are conceptualized from a community arts perspective.
Performing Arts (Hip-Hop)
which is comprised of 2 workshops to 15-20 young asylum seeking/refugee/migrant youth (13-16) facilitated by Stevie G with huge experience in running hip-hop workshops for vulnerable population in Cork. He is assisted by a volunteer dance instructor from UCC dance club and Andrea Williams, a professional dance instructor who runs her own hip-hop club in Cork.
The facilitators of the workshops in all three activities are assisted by volunteers from the local University of College Cork (UCC) STAR (Student Action for Refugees) society.