To mark Good Relations Week 2020, Clanmil Housing Group is presenting a series of virtual bedtime stories from around the world in partnership with CraicNI.
Each story comes from a different country - Portugal, Poland, Japan, France and South Africa - and is being told by award winning storyteller Liz Weir MBE. Liz is bringing the stories to life with her own special storytelling magic and is joined each evening by a guest who is also telling the story in their country's native language. As well as the stories, young listeners are able to learn a little about each country's culture.
The stories are aimed primarily at primary school children living in and around Clanmil's shared neighbourhood developments but are available for everyone to enjoy on Clanmil's Facebook page each night at 7.00pm, between 14th and 18th September.
Clanmil currently has shared neighbourhood housing schemes in Belfast, Newtownabbey, Banbridge and Dundrum. These developments have been delivered under the Northern Ireland Executive Together: Building A United Community (T:buc) strategy and the Programme for Government 'Housing for All' Shared Housing Programme led by the Department for Communities.
Shared neighbourhoods give people the choice of living alongside people from many backgrounds and traditions in neighbourhoods that are welcoming to all.
Tim O'Malley, Community Development Manager at Clanmil Housing said:
"For Good Relations Week this year Clanmil is bringing the opportunity to celebrate diversity to your home. We are really excited to present five fabulous stories from around the world for families to enjoy and reflect upon. We hope that families will click on our Facebook page each night this week at bedtime and join Liz Weir and the team at CraicNI for a whirl-wind trip around the world.
"These tales really are the stuff of dreams. But as well as entertaining and delighting our young audience at bedtime, they also tell an important story about diversity. We hope the families who tune in also enjoy hearing about some of the different cultures that make Northern Ireland a truly multi-cultural place to live."
Ana Semedo, a Clanmil tenant and also one of the guest storytellers, has been listening in to the Facebook stories each evening with her daughter. She said:
"I've really loved being part of this project and being able to share a traditional Portuguese bedtime story as well as something of my culture. I tell my daughter Maya this story often and it's a firm favourite with her. I'm hoping that other children listening all over Northern Ireland enjoy it just as much as she does.
"The stories have all been so different this week and Maya and I have loved hearing about each storyteller's country."
Eileen Chan-Hu, Executive Director/Founder at CraicNI said:
"We're delighted at CRAICNI to be taking part in this year's Good Relations Week with Clanmil - to have the opportunity to share stories from our diverse training team and to become storytellers working alongside Liz Weir MBE! We've worked with Liz in the past and it's a real 'cultural art' to deliver stories with passion and authenticity! This is part of our educational services in cultural awareness and we are so pleased to have diverse trainers now living in Northern Ireland share stories from their cultures and countries with everyone.
"Through listening, learning and hearing different languages and by meeting our storytellers from Portugal, Poland, Japan, France and South Africa, you can travel the world from your screen. We look forward to the storytelling CRAIC!"
Good Relations Week 2020, which is running from Monday 14th to Monday 21st September, has gone digital this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. This year's theme is 'Celebrating Our Journey, Embracing Our Future', and Clanmil's bedtime stories initiative is one of more than 150 online events taking place across Northern Ireland during the week.