Over the past 20 years we have seen the transformation of Carlow from a homogenous to a multi-cultural society and this has brought huge richness in terms of new cultural expressions, different viewpoints and a vibrant sharing of different experiences. A small snapshot of this can been seen in the Fáilte Isteach groups which met this morning (Friday 9th March) in New Oak Centre, Carlow town. 14 different nationalities were present from Europe, Africa, Latin America, South American and Asia representing the remarkable richness which is now present in this small county. Fáilte Isteach created a welcoming space, modelling a vision of diversity and integration through the volunteer local tutors engaging in conversational English with participants from places including Brazil, Ukraine, Guatemala, Cameroon, and Nepal.

It is one of the key elements of support which Carlow County Development Partnership provides in order to accompany individuals as they move from the status of strangers and outsiders to being welcomed newcomers and friends on to active, enduring contributors in the social and institutional fabric of Carlow society.

A great energy and enthusiasm was present in the groups and in the simple practical gestures of a smile and a cup of coffee, encouragement was given to the different hopes of individuals as they seek to make Carlow their new home.