Encouraging Respect for Differences While Recognising Shared Identities

Resource type: Grantee Story

The Forum on Migration and Communications (FOMACS), based in the Dublin Institute of Technology, is an innovative three-year media initiative (2007-2010) to produce broadcast, photographic and print stories on immigration and integration. The seven project partners aim to influence public opinion and shape immigration policy in the areas of family re-unification and irregular migration – areas central to securing human rights and effective integration. FOMACS is collaborating with immigration media and advocacy projects in the U.S., UK, Spain, Greece and Hungary.

In 2007, FOMACS produced the first of a three-part animation series entitled “Abbi’s Circle.” The animation communicates the everyday impact of policy decisions on family re-unification within immigrant communities. To date, 200 primary schools throughout Ireland have purchased it.

Students at Donabate Educate Together National School in Dublin saw the animation, then debated and engaged with the issue of interculturalism in society, their community and classroom composition.

“The classroom is often the place where children are encouraged to respect differences while recognising shared identities,” says Dr. Aine O’Brien, FOMACS Director. “Collaborating with teachers helped us access a more powerful language in which to communicate the complex issues, bridging the gap between policy and the experience on the ground.”