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OCES Annual Review 2012-2013

Society Review of Activities & Accomplishments 2012 - 2013

The past year witnessed a number of important successes, some of which extend to regional and national level, and include:

Bournemouth University Students Union and Language Study Centre ‘Culture and Language Exchange’
In late 2010 the OCES at BU and the BU Chinese Students and Scholars Association began to initiate a free culture and language exchange facility in which Chinese students could meet other international and UK students, on a 1-2-1 basis to learn more about each other’s languages and cultures. 

International Students Information Resource Project
OCES Chair Alan Mercel-Sanca ,with the support of Chinese and other international students at Bournemouth University, and of a wide range of representatives of officers of organisations that work with and support international students in their experience of living and studying in the UK, created at the request of the LINks organisation an information resource for international students.   This resource is designed to assist both students and those organisations that work with them and support their particular living and studying in the UK needs.  A Nepalese-specific variant of the resource has also been created and will be used nation-wide to support Nepali students in the UK

OCES multicultural diversification: partnering with the BU and Dorset Nepali community
In the summer of 2012, the society broadened its cross-cultural outreach significantly by supporting awareness of other east and southern Asian cultures (Indonesian, and in particular Nepali).  Ram Hari Adhikari joining to contribute to this work to promote greater awareness of the crucial role of the Himalayan/Northern Indian cultural area in its interconnection with Chinese/East Asian culture.  At the same time a valuable partnership was developed between the OCES and the newly created UK-Nepal Friendship Society [UKNFS], founded by Ram, and by Alan: in the autumn this provided helpful to give assistance to the development of the BU Nepalese Society (led by Kaji Sherpa) which in turn played a strong and welcome part in the BU Chinese New Year Party 2013 (mentioned below).

Advocacy: OCES working to combat perceived discrimination  in partnership with Dorset Race Equality Council
Society lead, Alan Mercel-Sanca assisted with two cases in which it was felt that instances of less than equitable treatment by officers of a public service organisation had caused distress and difficulty to members of the Bournemouth and Poole area Chinese [Mandarin-speaking] community.  Dorset Race Equality Council [DREC] and Poole Citizens Advice Bureau provided valuable support for this work, with the result that the organisation in question will be liaising with the OCES and DREC to improve frontline staff training in a number of areas.   

OCES Chinese, Arabic, Nepali and Polish NHS services bi-lingual engagement and access information packs
During 2012.  Following the success of the traditional Chinese resource a further Simplified Chinese information  pack was created (translation provided by OCES officer Xiaojing.  The LINks (Local Involvement Network) organisation that funded the printing of the resource, commissioned Arabic and Polish versions (with culture sensitive details) during the summer.  In the autumn a Nepali version was created by Ram Hari Adhikari (OCES advisor for Nepali and South Asian culture, and UKNFS Secretary and Project Lead). These information packs have gained respect and recognition of their value beyond Dorset that is continuing to grow at regional and even national levels (particularly in the case of Nepali version created for the UK Nepali community).  The resources will be utilised later in 2013 by the new Dorset area Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and ‘Local Health Watch’ organisations (that replace the NHS Primary Care Trusts, and the LINks organisation).

OCES Service Level Agreement with Dorset Police
In the early summer the society signed an SLA with Dorset Police to contribute to development of their new Equality Champions Programme, designed to provide valuable cultural profile information and awareness of issues faced by Chinese and other ethnic communities, which will in 2013 contribute to frontline staff training and community engagement. The OCES facilitated three meetings with the Dorset Police Equality Champion for race (PC Nikki Spencer), more than any other ethnic [‘BME’] voluntary sector community organisation to date. 

Chinese New Year Party at Bournemouth University and AUCB Chinese New Year celebrations
On Friday 1st February the Bournemouth University Students and Scholars Association, directly supported by the OCES, held a very successful Chinese New Year Party at the Student Hall, Talbot House, Bournemouth University Talbot Campus.   Society advisor for medical and healthcare and related areas, Dr John Guan contributed two musical performances (Bamboo Flute and Mouth Organ) to the party: these were very well received by the guests at this ticketed event.  Over 40 VIP’s attended.

OCES support for Holocaust Memorial Day event, and broader equality and diversity initiatives
The society at the invitation of Dorset Race Equality Council Community Development Officer, Anna Brazcek, contributed its banner and support to the Holocaust Memorial Day event on 27th January at the Poole Lighthouse centre.  We also facilitated the introduction of the Bournemouth University Students Union equality and international officers (Leroy-Winston and Nasim) to attend this moving and historic event.

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The Oriental Culture Educational Society is a charitable company registered in England Reg No. 7176662.