We had a meeting yesterday, reviewing what we have done and achieved so far, and I must say, we are a little chuffed.
Here are the details of our activities and achievements in 2018.
- Our Guitars for People in Direct Provision project. We started collecting guitars in June 2017, by the end of 2018 we have collected 23 guitars, 7 keyboards, some percussion instruments and 3 violins. We also secured free guitar tuition, organised the musical part of the Celebration of World music and cultures of Cork in Cork’s Fitzgerald Park on June 16th, International Day of the African Child, and another world music day in Bull McCabe’spub on August 5th, which resulted in the formation of Citadel.
Citadel was formed after the world music day on August 5th, it came as a pleasant surprise to us that we generated so much press interest into what we were doing. We were asked to perform at a fundraiser for MASI in Limerick’s Dolan’s Warehouse and at the International guitar festival in Clonakilty.
That is when we needed a name and decided on Citadel.
Since September, we have performed at the MASI fundraiser in Limerick, the international Guitar festival in Clonakilty, Cork Culture night, Middleton Intercultural day, Myo’s in Cork to raise funds for Youth Work Ireland’s arts project for children in direct provision centres, The Friary in Cork, The Lodge direct provision centre in Clonakilty and at the Christmas Inclusive Arts gathering in Cork.
3. Co-operation with the St Raphael scouts of Bujumbura, Burundi.
We raised money for the ‘back to School’project in August and sent 600€ to Bujumbura, where the scouts provided the street children with school supplies to ensure their return to school.
In December we collected 300€ to send over for a Christmas party for the street children. This was the second Christmas party we helped to fund.
The co-operation with the St Raphael scouts is smooth and easy, we will keep working with them.
4. Support of residents in Direct Provision
As during the previous year, we have kept our effort up to support the people who reside in direct provision centres, while waiting for an answer to their asylum cases.
- Collected Clothes distributed them to Kinsale Road Accommodation Centre and Glounthaune DP; we would like to thank Mary O’Donoghue, from Mary’s charity shop in Bandon, who always puts some second-hand clothes to the side for us.
- We helped and supported people looking for work offering help for creating CVs, setting up Linked In accounts and interview preparation.
- Helped with acquiring school material, uniforms, etc
- Thanks to Social media actions, we secured donations of supplies for babies: prams, fridges, baby clothes, supplied uniforms for school children school books and phones for newly arrived residents.
- We had a successful GoFundMe campaign to secure funds for tabla drums for our Indian tabla player.
- We helped residents to integrate into the community and created awareness and made connections from the community with the residents of Direct Provisioncentres.
We played an active part in the City of Sanctuary Movement in Cork, as members of the Communications, Advocacy and Arts and Culture subgroups, and linking organisations with the people in Direct Provision.
6. Public Relations
As you can see, we worked hard and had some very good results. Our challenge for next year is to do even better, get organised with a charity number, keep working with the scouts in Bujumbura, keep supporting asylum seekers and refugees and maybe some other projects abroad. Onwards and upwards is the only way!
Many thanks to everyone who supported us and please keep doing so.