I PACKED THIS MYSELF – workshops
We’re continuing our workshops on the workers from overseas who play a vital role in the Cornish economy. The aim is to highlight the role that they play and the issues they might face when making the huge life decision to leave home and create a life elsewhere.
Most recently we Zoomed in to Mousehole Primary School where children afterwards created wonderful suitcases illustrating important journeys they have made in life.
Tess drew a picture of her much-loved horse (she told us on Zoom that if she had to leave home she’d take her horse with her). And also recalled a journey she made at the age of three when she went to visit her grandmother in Norwich. Her grandmother often comes down to Cornwall but this was the only time she has ever visited her grandmother’s house. She doesn’t even really remember this trip. But the idea of it is important to her.
A workshop for curates
We’ve also recently delivered a Zoom workshop to more than 20 curates training to be vicars in the Diocese of Truro. Our Romanian volunteers Dragos and Mirabela joined the workshop and talked about their lives and the journey they had made from Bucharest to live and work in Cornwall.
This was a large audience and there were some interesting reactions…
Good ideas to emerge: the idea of putting up notices in church porches to welcome workers from overseas. We can help by providing templates for that: anyone interested should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the same time, the curates also had another important thought: it would be important to combine this invitation and poster with some ‘in-house’ training so that congregations overcame any possible prejudices and offered a real and heartfelt welcome.
We all agreed: the prejudice and difficulties that workers from overseas can face is not unique to Cornwall: far from it. It happens all over the country – and the world.
The workshop also threw a spotlight on the fact that Dragos and Mirabela’s journey was life changing. They not only changed countries, they changed jobs and were faced with the immediate challenge of integrating into an environment that was inevitably alien, initially.
This is very different from the journey of a professional from one country to another who would find a lifestyle very similar to their home country. This is a journey of discovery into the unknown, and it’s not always easy.