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A number of Black and Minority Ethnic community organisations have come together to form a new partnership which aims to enable Black and Minority Ethnic Communities to engage directly with policy makers and public service providers. The ‘New Communities Partnership’ will be launched today by Minister for Rural, Community and Gaeltacht Affairs Mr Eamon O’Cuiv TD at Buswells Hote

Founding members
have formed this partnership to work together on issues such as racism; the right to work; access to training and education; and access to health services. “This is the first Black and Ethnic Minority led forum for our communities, it is important that we speak for ourselves about ourselves and the concerns of our communities’ according to Blaise Tangamu” of the Congolese Irish Partnership. NCP members recognise that community organisation and development is a process that can take some time; they are also aware that many in their communities have become frustrated or mistrustful of community organising due to the slow pace of change or past experience of failure. For many community members trust and confidence in their communities will be built on receiving practical assistance with day to day difficulties. The NCP is also aware that service planners and providers in Ireland are on a steep learning curve in meeting the needs of ethnic minority communities and the NCP wishes to engage positively in assisting this learning. “We have experienced racism, prejudice and many frustrations trying to get health and other services. It is difficult for us to raise funding so that we can organise our communities. In this partnership we will work together to try to solve some of our problems” stated Iryna Pokhilo of Slavianka (Russian Speaking Women’s Group) Welcoming the launch of the partnership by Minister Eamon O’Cuiv TD, Paddy Connolly of Cairde stated that “it is important that the Government acknowledge and support the enormous amount of community activity that Black and Ethnic Minority Community members engage in. The National Plan against Racism and other key Government Strategies cannot be implemented unless new communities are resourced to participate fully” Launch 1-3pm, Buswells, Molesworth St. Minister Present 2-3pm Come and meet ethnic minority community leaders between 1pm and 3pm tomorrow Weds 13th.