Young migrants who have made Cork their home have been honoured for advancing inclusion and equity through learning.
And two teenagers who took on a learning challenge during the Covid-19 restrictions have also received formal civic recognition for completing the tasks.
The migrant group, who engage with the Cork Migrant Centre, was presented with the first Cork Learning City award as five Irish cities united to promote an Irish network of ‘learning cities’.
Cork joined with Dublin, Belfast, Limerick, Derry, and Strabane to promote learning across their areas, as representatives of ‘learning neighbourhoods’ , and Limerick took part in a webinar to discuss what has been learned during the pandemic.
Lord Mayor of Cork, Councillor Joe Kavanagh, said at the heart of a learning city is a commitment to using learning to improve the lives of all citizens, regardless of age, background, interests, or abilities.
Cork’s learning city co-ordinator, Denis Barrett, hailed the Cork Migrant Centre group for their leadership.
“They demonstrated leadership at a time of crisis through their inspirational efforts to design, host, and present an online webinar to raise awareness of racism and we felt that such a contribution should be marked with an award,” he said.
Dr Naomi Masheti, who co-ordinates the Cork Migrant Centre, said they were deeply honoured.
“Since their webinar in June highlighting their own experiences of racism, the young people have been working really hard, making future plans and continuing to raise awareness and build new networks of support,” she said.
The lord mayor also made presentations to two young people who completed the Lord Mayor’s ‘We Are Cork’ youth challenge during the pandemic restrictions.
The challenge was developed by the Cork Education and Training Board Youth Services with the city council and other partners including Music Generation and Cork Sports Partnership, as part of the city’s community response to Covid-19.
The challenges included kayaking on the River Lee, creating a piece of music, and participating in a citizenship initiative to improve their communities.
Some 400 young did some of the challenges and 20 completed them all.
Raymond Costin, 16, from Mayfield, and Nita Collins, 13, from Gurranabraher, who are both involved in St Joseph’s Foroige Group in Mayfield, were invited to the mayor’s office to represent the group, where they were presented with a specially-commissioned medal and a certificate.