In trying economic times when financial constraints prevent many projects from getting off the ground, it is refreshing to see how some groups are refusing to sit back and accept that there is nothing they can do.
In Kiltimagh recently a group of asylum seekers from the Railway Hotel attended a driver theory preparation course in Kiltimagh CDP. A joint collaboration between Mayo Intercultural Action (MIA ) and Kiltimagh CDP meant that a very successful course was run entirely by the voluntary efforts of Grace McGee who is a social studies student from Castlebar College of Further Education.
McGee, who was completing a work experience programme with MIA, knew that she wanted to work on a project that would make a difference in the lives of people who are vulnerable and socially excluded.
Kiltimagh CDP provided the venue and on Monday last the group was given a talk by Noel Gibbons from Mayo County Council on road safety. Gibbons highlighted the wonderful efforts being made to reduce road deaths in Ireland, and encouraged the group to enjoy driving in Ireland and not to be frightened off by the harsh realities of what can happen on the roads here. Commenting on the successful initiative he said: “I would like to see the efforts and achievements by Kiltimagh CDP and Mayo Intercultural Action mirrored throughout the county which could help reduce the number of collisions on our roads.”
The group recognised how important their driving licence is in helping them to access employment and training in Ireland and said how grateful they were to all concerned for allowing them the chance to access assistance in getting their theory test.
Mayo Intercultural Action is a charity based in Castlebar and is facing closure due to lack of funding. Much of the work done by MIA will not continue after May 7 unless a solution is found. This would be a severe blow to many immigrants in Mayo who face isolation and social exclusion should such a valuable resource be denied them.