My most memorable volunteering experience in Galway happened to me by chance. My roommate Lyndia said she had gotten an email about an opportunity to promote multi-culturalism in children and their families in Galway through our campus. I decided to tag along. When I got there, I got to hear/see the mayor of Galway speak about the efforts Ireland had made to make people of other races and ethnicities better accepted, and how this event, was a cause that was helping Ireland move in the right direction. The event consisted of parents having classes that gave them tips and information on how to teach their children how to be open and positive on the differences between many cultures and also on how to themselves become a great example of multi-culturalism. The children, which I worked with, went through talks on inalienable human rights, such as food and shelter, and love, and then went on to do many different activities to help them interact with one another, and depending on their age group, would determine the levels of depth the helpers went to describe why it’s important to know that not everybody may have the same background, but that doesn’t mean that anybody deserves to be treated worse or better than one another. I worked with the oldest children, and worked on positive imaginative work between the children and had wonderful discussions over what they thought kids like them deserved, and then mixed all the kids in a room and brought in flamingo dancers and gave them snacks so they could talk with each other and see different things. I truly enjoyed this experience, I thought it really gave me a new perspective on children, and how important it is to incorporate positive feelings on other cultures to children from a young age.
Diane Cantillano is studying abroad at the National University of Ireland – Galway in Galway, Ireland.