Suleiman Abdulahi is from Somalia and is vice chairman of Horn of Africa People’s Aid (HAPA) which represents all Horn of Africa (Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti) communities and organisations in Ireland.
To tackle the challenges of integration faced by these communities, Suleiman has set up the Dublin Cross-Cultural Club (DCCC). The club aims to address barriers which these groups face due to their specific cultural needs, linguistic difficulties and overall lack of opportunities for cross cultural contact. Volunteers offer linguistic support and help visitors to tackle everyday situations such as writing job applications and understanding official letters.
DCCC also wants to establish a Horn of Africa Resource Centre. This will be a drop-in centre open Monday to Friday with an extensive range of activities. It is Suleiman’s hope to then spread the concept of DCCC to other cities in Ireland.
By engaging local volunteers, DCCC will be a place where ordinary citizens can cross cultural borders and thereby tackle prejudices. This will help reduce cultural and religious divides in Dublin.