on Friday, 11th December, 2015
Debbie, Sarah, Zahra, Ian, Katka and Arwa from the FAN Group in Cardiff took part in a special FAN Group meeting that took place on the 8 December 2015 in the building now housing the Cardiff Story at the Old Library in The Hayes..
Women Making a Difference receive a grant from the British Council to deliver their Active Citizens programme in South Wales. WMAD have been delivering the programme for the past 5 years.
The Active Citizens training equips participants to become leaders in their communities and to deliver Social Action Projects
This week WMAD have been hosting 4 Active Citizens in Cardiff as part of the programme, which is delivered worldwide. These particular Active Citizens have been attending the Active Citizens course where they live ( N.Ireland, Rwanda, Morocco and Birmingham) . They were joined by a number of participants from the Cardiff Active Citizens course, as well as trustees and staff members of WMAD.
WMAD had thought it would be a great introduction to Cardiff to invite them to participate in a FAN group meeting, as it is a good example of a successful Social Action Project. To fit in with their tightly-packed schedule FAN Group organised this special meeting on Tuesday afternoon.
We spent a delightful hour with the Active Citizens introducing ourselves and discussing the topic of the day – our experiences of Wales. Sarah introduced the objectives of FAN and described how a meeting was organised. All four visiting Active Citizens were new to Wales and were finding the experience fascinating and uniformly positive. The friendliness of the people and the multicultural dimension of Cardiff was pointed out by all.
All were equally interested to hear from those of us who have lived in Cardiff for longer periods – with our affection for the city of Cardiff and for the country of Wales – many of us loved the geography of the country and the landscape with beautiful beaches and mountains so close. Many also noted the distinct Welsh language and its vitality. Indeed some who had moved to Cardiff as students from the US and Australia and had settled here to start a family were learning the language and bringing their children up as bilingual. We had to be honest and note the ‘climate’ as well – some find the grey, wet and windy climate of reputation quite hard to cope with, but the reality is that there are also many dry and sunny days as well, and the striking greenery of the country is down to the rainfall we receive.
Our visitors concluded that the FAN Group format was a successful example of bringing peoples together and building bridges – and one which could well be replicated successfully in many other part of the UK and further afield.
If you would like to set up your own FAN group – please contact us!!
British Council: Active Citizens: https://www.britishcouncil.org/active-citizens
The Big Lottery has awarded £59k to the FAN Charity to increase the geographic reach of FAN.
MBE accepted on behalf of everyone who supports FAN Groups.
Award accepted on behalf of The FAN Charity and for all those who attend FAN Meetings.