"I would like to endorse the internship scheme for politicians that Crosscare sponsored this year. From my experience of the programme it gave a chance for politicians to have top quality motivated people work with them. It also gave the participating interns and politicians an opportunity to experience at first-hand other cultures.
From the interns point of view it is probably the best way to interest migrants in politics and Irish political and social life. My experience for the last six months has been totally positive, beneficial and educational. I hope and trust it was equally beneficial to the excellent intern I had.”
"The Opening Power to Diversity scheme is an excellent scheme that has over time, potential to make a significant and positive impact not only on the lives of individuals migrants and migrant communities but also on social policy in Ireland by influencing political thinking and debate.
The capacity to promote migrant integration is considerable. Crosscare has managed to convince us of the benefits and have managed the complexity of placing an intern in a most professional manner. In particular by placing well motivated, highly skilled and willing to learn candidate with us.
Adaku is contributing in a very real and tangible way to our team. Her skills, experience, and personality have certainly added value to how we do our work.
Her skills coming from an Intercultural perspective have also highlighted our awareness not only to a changing Ireland but welcoming a new Ireland.
We are delighted to be involved with the OPD scheme which we will recommend should be extended to embrace many other cultures, It will in my view will go from strength to strength."
"The Opening Power to Diversity (OPD) scheme is a great opportunity for people of migrant background and new Irish citizens to get involved in politics. It is a unique and valuable chance to gain insight into the day-to-day runnings of a parliamentary office. The programme not only benefits the intern, it also gives the Senator or TD an opportunity to improve their understanding of the culture and perspectives of the migrant community.
I had a very positive experience with the candidate I received from the OPD scheme. She worked in the office alongside my assistant and quickly became an invaluable member of our team. She was friendly and adaptable and her high level of skills and ability to perform a wide range of tasks was of great benefit.
The scheme was managed well. I had regular contact with the organisers and had no hesitation in contacting them if I had any questions. Overall my experience has been both positive and educational and I believe both myself and the intern benefited from it."
"This scheme is an excellent initiative by Crosscare. By bringing people from new communities into the heart of the Irish political system the scheme provides an opportunity for members of the new communities to gain first-hand experience of our political system and allows them to contribute to the functioning of our democracy.
To my mind, it is crucial that the Irish political system fully engages, in a truly interactive manner, with our new communities. There is huge potential among our young migrant population and I believe that not only they, but we also, can benefit from their participation in schemes of this type.
Crosscare were very proactive in their leadership of this scheme. Their commitment to the scheme ensured a quality experience for all involved.
Amy-Yin Zhang has been working in my Private and Constituency Offices for a number of months. She has shown herself to be an extremely capable, confident and enthusiastic young woman. Her eagerness to learn and unique perspective are particularly welcome. I can safely say that she has been a considerable asset to my Office."
"I was very happy to take part in, and support, The Opening Power to Diversity Scheme to give people from migrant backgrounds an opportunity to see the Irish political system in operation by spending time with a T.D. or Senator. The scheme affords opportunities to sit in the Gallery in the Chamber for debates, attend committees and engage with other staff.
There was good interaction with Crosscare and I knew they were available if the need arose.
Evans worked in my office and I would like to compliment him on his efficiency, positive attitude and willingness to respond to the various requests and tasks. He worked away and, to use the cliche, nothing was too much for him. He could adapt to situations as they arose. He was always pleasant, courteous and attentive. Because of my own involvement with Development Aid issues it was good to have Evans' perspective."
This project is co-financed by the European Commission under the European Integration Fund
and is supported by the Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration in the Dept of Justice & Equality & Pobal.