The hopes, fears, joys and anguish of women from a range of countries who have made their home in Portadown are captured in a new poetry book due to be launched next month.
‘Echoes of the Heart’ has been compiled by members of Women’s World, a family support group which meets at the Oasis Youth and Family Centre
Also included in this collection is the voice of local women, whose lives have intersected with those from the new communities.
The group, attended by 75 women from nine countries, is run by local woman Hetty Smith. The mother-of-two can empathise with the women, having herself been an immigrant in Portugal for 21 years.
She said, “These are women with fears and tears that have never been told. They are women who because of various difficulties have been forced to leave their own country. Intelligent women, mothers and wives supporting their families who so much want to be understood and accepted in this new land.
“They have pride. They don’t want to take, they want to be part of and give. Women’s World is helping them to do this.”
Women’s World, a project run Craigavon Intercultural Programme (CIP), meets each Thursday morning and delivers additional projects such as the 50 PLUS FRIENDS club and health and fitness sessions at venues across Craigavon.
Said Hetty, “Through friendship and support the women are helped to overcome language barriers, participate in personal development programmes and are given the opportunity to integrate by becoming volunteers with CIP.”
The book containing 30 poems will be launched on Thursday, March 6 at the Meadows Shopping Centre to mark International Women’s Day, along with a DVD of some of the women reciting their poems.
There will also be music, pampering, craft, health checks, cookery demonstration, information stands, Jo-Jingles and face painting.