Global food, music and craic at Celebrate Family – Connect Communities fun day in Derry this weekend
A programme of events has been organised for ‘Celebrate Family – Connect Communities’ this Sunday, May 14 on a large green space opposite the Cosh Bar.
At the heart of the project is an opportunity for locals to meet their neighbours, learn about different cultures and most importantly to have fun.
Lilian Seenoi Barr, Director of Programmes at the North West Migrants Forum said: “It is going to be a wonderful afternoon packed with exciting and fun events.
“We want to bring families from minoritised communities and Coshquin families together so everyone can mix, get to know each other and their children can play together.
“That is why we are calling it ‘Celebrate Family – Connect Communities’. It is about bringing minoritised people and their families together with families in Coshquin, to introduce them and to give them an opportunity to meet up and have fun.”
The day will offer a chance to sample a variety of traditional foods while enjoying music and dance from around the world. There will also be jewellery making while for the younger ones there will be face painting and a bouncy castle.
Coshquin has been waiting over two decades for a play park.
Local resident Lisa Doherty said with so few community facilities available, the upcoming fun day was all the more important in terms of bringing people together.
“It’s great news and we need more of these sorts of events around here,” Ms Doherty said.
“There is nothing for the young people down here and because our children are small they are confined to this little cul-de-sac. There is so little for them to do and an event like this, it brings neighbours closer together and it helps people to get to know each other.
“It’s something to look forward to and ideally something like this would be happening every three months or so.”
Pixie Boodhram and her family live nearby.
Pixie, who is originally from South Africa, said: “Things like this never happen here. We get the odd parade at Christmas or Easter but that is about the height of it.
“There is no park here so something like is so important for the children but also for us adults in that we can meet up and chat and get to know each other better.”
Given Coshquin’s close proximity to the border, the day will also offer a chance for those from minoritised communities to learn where Northern Ireland meets the Republic of Ireland. The North West Migrants Forum continues to drive its Common Travel Area campaign which highlights how not everyone living, working and studying on the island of Ireland enjoys freedom of movement.
Lilian Seenoi Barr added: “We are really looking forward to bringing people together and seeing them enjoy themselves on what should be a lovely day for the Coshquin area.”
‘Celebrate Family – Connect Communities’ takes place on May 14 from 2pm to 4.30pm. It is open to everyone and keep an eye on the North West Migrants Forum’s social media platforms for more information and updates.