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  • Aging immigrant associations seek younger members

    Long-established immigrant organisations in the US are taking new steps to attract younger members, according to an article in the Boston Globe. The paper says that organisations representing a variety of ethnicities are trying to get both newcomers and the children of immigrants involved.

    Most of the organisations started to help immigrants to both assimilate and network within immigrant communities; with changing social styles and a reduction in immigrant numbers in some communities, the organisations have noticed that most of their members are older, and few new people have been joining. In response, some of the groups are creating more family activities, highlighting the native culture of Chinese, Italian, and Cuban parents, for example. Others are offering scholarships to appeal to a new generation.

    Journalist Maria Sacchetti notes the efforts of an Irish group:

    The Ancient Order of Hibernians, a longstanding Irish organization, has a youth group in Lawrence that runs arts and crafts projects and other activities and it is pushing to expand statewide, said Dick Wall, state vice president.

    As an older Italian immigrant says,

    “The problem is I see we’re into our second and third and fourth generation of Italians,’’ said DiStefano. “They have lost some of the pride and some of the culture. If we don’t stick around to  teach them, they’re going to lose it completely.’’

    Boston Globe – Rekindling relations: Aging immigrant associations seek an infusion of younger members