Northern Ireland’s oldest LGBT+ community organisation, which provides youth services and LGBT+ awareness teacher training, has launched a new set of LGBT+ resources and materials translated to Irish and Ulster Scots available to school teachers.
The organisation also provides anti-homophobia workshops for school students as well as professional guidance for school staff and one-to-one support for LGBT+ young people.
LGBTQ+ Awareness Training delivered to 45 teachers today at Coleraine Integrated College! : ) If you would like Cara-Friend or Out North West to come train at your school email [email protected] pic.twitter.com/8vZ8GOWjeY
— Cara-Friend (@CaraFriendNI) September 28, 2018
Cara-Friend’s director Steve Williamson spoke about the reasoning behind translating the material into Irish and Ulster Scots from the original English version:
“As a cross-community organisation, we are very aware of the multiple identities of our services users. It’s important to reach individuals and communities where they are and in ways which they find accessible.”
Williamson added, “It may be a first for the LGBTQ+ community here to be working simultaneously with an Irish language school and a PUL grassroots organisation.”
Williamson also commented on the difficulties that are being faced in Stormont around introducing an Irish language act, which would give the Irish language equal status to English in Northern Ireland.
“But if a voluntary and community organisation like Cara-Friend can overcome language hurdles then I’m surprised it has been such a controversial and difficult issue for some of our political parties at Stormont,” Williamson said.
The translated version of the resource materials was developed in partnership with Colaiste Feirste and The Reach Project and is available to download for free from Cara-Friend’s website.
Hard copies of the resource materials in Irish and Ulster Scots are also available upon request from their offices in Belfast.
Cara-Friend is also set to develop a version of the resource materials available to teachers in Polish.
Earlier this year, deputy director of Cara-Friend Declan Meehan responded to complaints about the display of material promoting an LGBT+ youth forum event in a Catholic grammar school, saying that the promotion of the event was “an excellent example of promoting LGBTQ+ inclusion and visibility in schools and a fine example of true Christian ethos through that inclusion and visibility.”
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