Who We Are
Our mission: ILS seeks to promote social inclusion for newer community members through community-based Language and (inter)cultural training, and to foster social cohesion in the communities and areas of Dublin City where New-Irish reside through intercultural encounters, activities and events.
Our vision: We see diversity as a golden opportunity for personal and inter-community development, not a challenge. We see integration as a two-way conversation between equals.
ILS began life in 2016 as part of the Welcome Europe initiative to look after migrants moving to or living in Ireland regarding English language and social orientation and inclusion. Since then we have helped over 200 people to survive and thrive in their new home of Ireland. We have provided, with the help of our fantastic volunteers, over 200,000 hours of language and social training. We offer a safe, social and welcoming space to help build English language and confidence for those most in need, and those without proper access to our social networks in Ireland.
ILS is an innovative project for several reasons. First, it accommodates clients who have difficulty in accessing or using mainstream services by tolerating fluctuating attendance, which may be due to childcare, shift work, settling in for newcomers, and other socially-mediated factors. Secondly, it provides a social learning environment through the use of round table-based classes in small groups (Harkness Method), which fosters a welcoming setting for this socially-excluded cohort while at the same time reaping the pedagogical advantages of low teacher-student ratio.
The language provision at the Centre is designed to target the day-to-day, real-world needs of the cohort in question. Finally, ILS is promoting community-building and a two-way model of integration through collaborative projects such as our Intercultural Storytelling Project (ISP), Drama Course and our Mobile Filmaking project. The ISP project involves citizens from the new and local communities in Dublin’s inner city pairing up to share and write each other’s stories and so help build stronger ties between the two groups.
Regarding social cohesion and integration in Ireland, still a lot more to do according to the very recent ESRI research (reported below in Metro Eireann April 2018). The full report can be accessed here: Attitudes to Diversity in Ireland 2018