Buddy Program

RIAINetwork will provide a program that pairs young people up together to promote friendship, support, and empowerment. The program will be beneficial for behavioural, emotional, and social support. The program will also foster a greater sense of belonging for children and young African-Irish people and their families.

The main benefit of the program is that each participant may be able to guide the other or provide knowledge that they already possess. Compared to operating alone, the buddy with less knowledge learns more quickly thanks to close and frequent contact with the more experienced buddy.

The RIAINetwork Buddy Program encourages open and effective dialogue among peers. The program tends to break down cultural and social barriers. It helps create a collaborative learning environment in which peers feel less hesitant to ask questions. This enables participants to develop social networks and cross-cultural experiences. It provides effective support for young people and their families who wish to understand diaspora and want to gain a deeper understanding of their roots in Africa and Ireland.

The RIAINetwork Buddy Program is open to the entire Irish society and will work towards having a more inclusive environment for all ethnicities living in Ireland. The Buddy Program will also tackle social exclusion due to race and ethnicity, which adversely affects young people from ethnic groups when they enter higher education and work environments.