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The Idea

Culture Connect is an intercultural, non profit community organisation working as a support group to individuals, ethnic minority groups, Service providers and community groups in Drogheda and South Louth area. Culture Connect was founded in March 2010 by Flora and Edward Okobi as part of their social responsibility to the community and in response to the issues of cultural diversity and integration. The idea of Culture Connect originated from Flora Okobi whose passion sprang from the experience she gathered from her work with the various communities for over 10 years prior to the establishment of the organisation. She was involved with community based organisations such as Drogheda Community Forum, Drogheda Access Community Transport, Millmount Community Services (Tourist Office), Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda Partnership Company and Access Ireland. Her experience with these organisations no doubt helped her to integrate into the Irish society and also strengthened the passion to make social impacts that are geared towards reducing social exclusion. During her work and training with these organisations, she observed how the indigenous community and immigrants struggle with challenges arising from diversity. Some of these challenges are often given wrong interpretation. Her experience and skills had helped her to better appreciate the problems and had ignited a desire and responsibility to proffer possible solution. Responding to these struggles in the community, she suggested the development of a platform to ameliorate the problems; a platform that will ultimately leave a legacy for communities to embark on peace building, friendship networks and human fulfilment irrespective of cultural affiliations.This idea was welcomed and supported by her husband, Edward Okobi who also felt that such platform was greatly needed in the community. Though a great idea, they realized it was going to be a hard task as that period marked the beginning of the recession in Ireland and funding was indeed scarce. Vast majority of people including service and funding agencies expressed their concerns about the timing of the project. Candid as their opinion was, Flora & Edward listened to their instinct and forged ahead. This gave birth to Culture Connect.

March 2010
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The Beginnings

In 2011, Culture Connect secured an office space in Drogheda through the help of Challenge of Change, Peace III Southern Partnership. This intercultural office provides advice and support in different issues. Following on from there, Culture Connect has collaborated with other community organizations such as Drogheda Community Forum, Upstate Theatre, Drogheda Women’s refuge, Drogheda Senior Citizens, Louth Minority Ethnic Consortium (LMEC), Challenge of Change, Drogheda Food Festival, Music Generation, Louth and Meath Education Board to run some projects.

January 2011
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The Development

Culture Connect has proved itself as a great platform for cultural diversity, friendship networks and information exchange for Drogheda and South Louth area; a valuable resource to the community that has managed to survive the test of difficult times through hard work and passion without any core funding since inception till date. Flora Okobi received a civic award in April, 2013 from Councilor Paul Bell, Mayor of Drogheda, in appreciation of her work in creating a platform for promoting integration and peace building.

April 2013
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The Present

Culture Connect is registered as a company limited by guarantee and overseen by a ten member management board. The organisation currently has over 30 members from over 25 different nations, Including Ireland. Culture Connect was founded upon the principles of equity and inclusion. We believe that through intercultural dialogue, training support and opportunity to participate in social/cultural activities, community people will be encouraged to become important/active citizens with increased expectations and skills to make positive change.

January 2014
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