The MELLIE project organised a collaborative creative writing workshop with the NGO Fighting Words on Wednesday 28th March. The workshop was hosted by Fighting Words at its headquarters in Ballybough. Fighting Words provides free tutoring and mentoring in creative writing and related arts to young adults and adults who did not have this opportunity as children. The workshop was a powerful experience of collaborative storytelling between participants drawing on diverse issues such as Irish culture and society, conflict and living in Direct Provision. Each participant produced their own story and accompanying illustration.
In December 2016, DCU was granted the status of University of Sanctuary. The designation was in recognition of a range of projects demonstrating commitments to welcoming asylum seekers and refugees into the community and to fostering a culture of inclusion for all. Among other activities, an innovative extra-curricular pilot project was launched, designed to facilitate language and cultural exchange between DCU students and staff, on the one hand, and asylum seekers from Mosney Direct Provision Centre on the other. The MELLIE project (Migrant English Language, Literacy and Intercultural Education), whose approach is based on storytelling, was put in place in the spring of 2017.
The main objective of the pilot project is to improve asylum seekers’ English language skills and understanding of the Irish culture, through establishing and developing meaningful contacts within the university community. It also gives DCU students and staff the opportunity to get to know residents from Mosney Direct Provision Centre and to understand more about their lives. The project runs during the twelve weeks of semester with meetings alternating between DCU and the Mosney Direct Provision Centre.