Multiculturalism: a complex, controversial and challenging topic
In the words of Kofi Annan, UN Secretary-General (2004), “tolerance, intercultural dialogue and respect for diversity are more essential than ever in a world where people are becoming more and more closely interconnected”, multiculturalism is more than simply recognizing and acknowledging the diversity and differences prevalent in society. It is a complex, controversial and challenging topic. However, despite these challenges, it is time to acknowledge that we are living within a highly fluid multicultural society which is becoming even more diverse. As leaders, educators, and service providers, it is our job to ensure everyone feels included and empowered to help community cohesion develop. The purpose of our organisation is to help raise awareness of Multicultural Integration and to address two components of integration: stability to the community on one hand, and growth and development on the other.
The idea of forming NWAMI International Malta is rooted in NWAMI UK, a charitable non-profit organisation registered in Wales and England in February 2011. Founded by Dr Sibani Roy, NWAMI UK is considered by leading British authorities as the UK’s foremost leading organisation in the field of interracial understanding. Rapidly increasing globalisation, economic instability and clashes between cultural values highlighted the importance of promoting multicultural integration for building cohesion within and between countries and their communities. This inspired Dr Roy to spread NWAMI UK’s wings overseas by appointing the organisation’s honorary international advisor Ms Maria-Gabriele Doublesin as Chair of NWAMI International who has been tasked with recruiting a team including proposing Baron Chev Anthony Coleiro as her deputy.
Accepting the call, Maria-Gabriele and her newly formed team are preparing the groundwork for a new Voluntary Organisation to address the needs of Malta’s contemporary social fabric and to bring about a better understanding of issues related to multicultural integration.
The aim of NWAMI International Malta is threefold:
- NWAMI International Malta as an offshoot of NWAMI UK is working in line with its main objectives: fostering a spirit of inclusion, community cohesion and multicultural integration. This also includes working towards a reduction of all forms of discrimination, including overt and covert racism and a reduction of hate crime in society.
- Promoting Maltese culture and safeguarding Maltese cultural values within Malta’s rich multicultural fabric.
- Fostering a spirit of friendship between and within societies with different socio- cultural and ethnic contexts and abilities.
NWAMI International Malta’s objectives are:
- To foster better community cohesion and provide information for all the relevant stakeholders and the public about the concept of multicultural integration, inclusion and diversity.
- To seek and promote, on a national level, the participation of NWAMI International Malta.
- To raise public awareness on intercultural dialogue where all cultural values are valued and respected.
- To promote and present the interests of the NWAMI International Malta members, volunteers and collaborators to the notice of local authorities, international organisations and other authorities.
- To raise funds by means of projects, sponsorships or otherwise for all the purposes and objectives of NWAMI International Malta in such amounts and in such manner as may be authorized by the NWAMI International Malta Executive Committee.
- To collaborate with any national/international organisation/s whose aims are similar to those of NWAMI International Malta.
- To encourage and promote relevant research.