Minister Stanton sends warm wishes to all people celebrating Africa Day in Ireland

 

-  Africa Day is an annual celebration that falls on 25th May each year

 

-  Extra funding provided to promote the International Decade for People of African Descent Ireland

 

25 May 2020

 

Africa Day falls on 25th May each year and is designated by the African Union as an annual celebration of the continent’s unity. Celebrations to mark the day occur in countries and communities across the globe.

 

Marking the day, David Stanton, TD, Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration said;

 

“I recognise that this year’s celebration will, of necessity, be more limited because of the current pandemic crisis and the necessary observation of travel and social isolation restrictions. However, maintaining our cultural roots begins with family and local community.

“I hope that all people of African descent will have the opportunity to engage with their family, friends and community in a safe and joyful manner today.

 

“Africa Day is a day for all of us to celebrate and recognise the cultural and other contributions that people of African descent have made to Ireland over the years.” 

 

International Decade for People of African Descent

 

In November 2019, the Department of Justice and Equality entered into a grant agreement with the Steering Committee for the International Decade for People of African Descent Ireland to support their activities to mark the decade. This agreement runs until December 2020.

 

The funding is provided through Akidwa, an organisation that promotes the rights of migrant women, and the head of Akidwa - Salome Mbugua - chairs the committee. They have so far made contact with approximately 100 potential ally organisations, 200 African descent led groups, all African students’ associations and over 70 religious organisations and have mapped these individuals and groups. They have also used the funding to recruit a project officer to assist in this work.

 

Community Integration Fund

 

In July 2019 the Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, along with Minister Stanton, announced that 124 community projects around the country would receive funding under the 2019 Communities Integration Fund. 

 

A total of almost €526,000 in grant funding was provided. This was the third year of the Communities Integration Fund, bringing the total amount made available to date to over €1.5 million.

 

Organisations in every county in Ireland were allocated funding for locally run projects to support the integration of migrants. The successful projects are usually small, grassroots community based projects, with a maximum grant amount of €5,000 and a minimum grant amount of €1,000 allocated to any single project. 282 applications for funding were received in 2019.

 

Successful groups in 2019 included the Laois African Support Group, who hosted a community day showcasing African cuisine, dance, and music. The Africa Solidarity Centre is another group which received funding.

 

The Department of Justice and Equality will be launching the 2020 Communities Integration Fund application process soon.

 

ENDS…/  

 

Notes for Editors

 

Africa Day is the annual commemoration of the foundation of the African Union, which took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on May 25th, 1963. The day is celebrated around the world in locations such as London, New York, Sydney, Washington, D.C. – as well as throughout Ireland. The day is an opportunity to appreciate and celebrate the continent’s diverse history and heritage while acknowledging its cultural and economic potential.

 

The UN International Decades are currently observed by the United Nations. The United Nations designates specific days, week, years and decades as occasions to mark particular events or topics in order to promote, through awareness and action, the objectives of the Organisations.

 

In October 2019 the Department confirmed funding support towards the work of People of African Decent (PAD) Ireland steering committee, through a grant agreement of total amount €54,700.

 

The Communities Integration Fund was first established in 2017 to implement the commitment under Action 51 of the Migrant Integration Strategy to support actions by local communities throughout Ireland to promote the integration of migrants and refugees. The success of the Fund and the events it facilitates have been an excellent example of migrant and refugee communities integrating into their local communities.

 

€500,000 is usually provided each year for the fund. The 2019 Communities Integration Fund included an additional sum of €26,000 from the Office of Public Works for art-based integration projects. This was made possible by the "Per Cent for Art Scheme" under which 1% of capital works can be allocated to commissioning works of art. This is a once off inclusion in the Communities Integration Fund.