Friday, 25 September 2009

Schools to join in Swansea's citizenship success

School children across Swansea are being invited to become part of the success of the city's citizenship ceremonies and learn from the experience.

Swansea Council is sending out an invite along with a specially made DVD to invite pupils from every school in Swansea to participate in the celebration of people from across the world becoming Welsh citizens.

More than 1,000 adults and children from 92 countries have become Welsh citizens in Swansea since the Council started its special citizenship ceremonies in 2003.

People from countries such as Albania, Zimbawe, Australia and Zambia have taken an oath and pledge at a citizenship ceremony to mark and celebrate their becoming Welsh citizens.

One popular aspect of the celebrations has been the involvement of local schoolchildren in the celebrations from school choirs performing at the ceremony to flower bearers handing out daffodils to the new citizens.

Schools are also welcome to attend as part of projects about citizenship to learn about what it means to people to be a citizen of their country.

The DVD being sent to schools is entitled British Citizenship in Swansea and includes footage of citizenship ceremonies alongside images of the city the immigrants are now to call home.

Edith Morgan, Chief Registrar, said: "There are important lessons for all of us in these citizenships. They are events which say so much about how much being a citizen of Wales means and what pride and responsibility this brings to people who have it by right of birth.

"Having people from all over the world taking part in these ceremonies is also testimony to the racial harmony that exists in
Swansea and its proud history of becoming home to people from across the world, particularly those forced to flee their homelands.

"We are hoping to work with schools to enable the citizenships to be a valuable educational resource. The involvement of pupils in ceremonies so far has made the day extra special for those receiving citizenship and their families and friends. We hope that will develop and continue."

Cllr John Hague, Cabinet Member for the Environment in Swansea who features in the video, said: "I am proud to have taken part in some of our citizenship ceremonies. The youngsters that take part do Swansea and Wales proud.

"I am looking forward to witnessing the outcome of the work we are now developing with schools."


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