SWMDC/MIA marks International Migrants Day with Diverse Food Mayo recipe book

South West Mayo Development Company (SWMDC), also trading as Mayo Intercultural Action (MIA), has launched its Diverse Food Mayo recipe book to coincide with International Migrants Day on 18th December 2021.

This year’s International Migrants Day theme is Harnessing the Potential of Human Mobility and as Maria McHale, SWMDC/MIA’s Social Inclusion Coordinator commented “What better way to showcase the value of diversity than through flavours from all corners of the world, brought to us by migration?”

Diverse Food Mayo was a pandemic project, dreamt up in the depths of lockdown by the social inclusion teams in SWMDC/MIA, and supported by Mayo County Council. Migrants living in Mayo created short videos preparing traditional dishes which were then posted on the MIA Facebook page. The project immediately struck a chord with the wider public, with thousands of views, and overall positive engagement.

Patricia Quinn, SWMDC/MIA’s Training & Outreach Officer, saw the potential to reach an even-wider audience through a recipe book. After all, she said “Not all of us have access to social media – some of us would prefer to hold a book in our hands!”. With stunning hand drawn illustrations provided by Ballyhaunis resident Madhvi Ramsing, the Diverse Food Mayo recipe book provides a beautiful – and accessible – way to experience an array of international flavours. Handily, for all aspiring cooks, most recipes have accompanying videos, all of which are available on the SWMDC You Tube channel, www.youtube.com/southwestmayo.

SWMDC/MIA put this project together to showcase just one element of the benefits that diversity brings to Mayo. The talented people who took part in this project are from a wide variety of backgrounds including people seeking international protection, refugees and people who moved here in search of better opportunities, all of whom call Mayo home now. SWMDC/MIA’s Maria McHale ended by urging all to “check out the Diverse Food Mayo on the SWMDC website [www.southmayo.com] and get cooking to celebrate International Migrants Day”.

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