For the purposes of this grants programme we define vulnerable migrants as refugees, asylum seekers and undocumented migrants living in severe poverty and hardship. The Trust recognises the severe disadvantage and poverty which can be experienced by asylum seeker families living in Ireland. This includes families living in Direct Provision Centres in the Republic of Ireland and refused asylum seekers in Northern Ireland who often experience destitution.
We invite applications from organisations working directly with individuals and families, supporting them in a practical, effective manner to integrate into their local community and to be treated with dignity while living in Ireland.
All project work needs to be underpinned by a drive towards learning, improving practice and positive social change as set out in our general criteria for funding.
Maximum grants available are in the region of €12,000 to €15,000. The average grant in 2016 was €7,000.
The Vulnerable Migrants Grant Programme is funded by Porticus UK, the Daughters of the Cross of Liege and the Discalced Carmelites.
The Trust operates a two step process, the details of which are outlined here. Please ensure your organisation is eligible to apply and you are familiar with the application process and deadline dates.
Refugee Support Grant Programme
In 2016 SSGT opened a grants programme to fund work supporting people with refugee status, leave to remain or subsidiary protection to leave Direct Provision Centres and move into the community. The objective of the Refugee Support Grant Programme (RSGP) is to effect positive change in the lives of refugees and asylum seekers in Ireland by supporting organisations within the community and voluntary sector who are carrying out practical, relevant, effective and/or progressive work.
A significant learning network element is built into the grant programme with opportunities for funded organisations to network and to share practices and experiences with other participants and to use the collective work and achievements to influence public policy and practices in relation to refugees and asylum seekers in Ireland. This formative evaluative approach will reflect on what works, barriers to effective working and how to overcome the challenges.
The programme is allocating €100,000 a year in grants for three years. 11 organisations were funded to work on their projects over three years:
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Co Kildare Leader Partnership
Contact: Pat Leogue
Project Name: Positive Transition Project
Geographical Area: Kildare
County Kildare LEADER Partnership have recruited an Integration Project Worker to implement the work plan in conjunction with the Kildare Integration Strategy – Implementation Group. The Integration Project Worker works on a 1:1 basis with individuals and families prior to and during their transition from Direct Provision to accommodation in County Kildare. The caseload for the Integration Project Worker is based on the number of people/families who have received their Status letter. Since commencing the position in January 2017 the Integration Project Worker is supporting 13 individuals/families, 4 of whom have left Direct Provision. The Integration Project Worker supports and accompanies individuals to apply for and to access services such as Immigration, Social Welfare, Housing and Education. The Integration Project worker has also liaised, and will continue to liaise with the Department of Social Protection and Kildare County Council – Housing Unit to address obstacles to transition. Part of the implementation of the Kildare Integration Strategy in 2017 has involved meeting with the Department Social Protection (DSP) – Area Manager, Community Welfare Officer and the Case Officer who represents the DSP on the Kildare Integration Strategy.
Cultúr Migrants Centre
Contact: Reuben Hambakachere
Project Name: Moving On Project
Geographical Area: Meath
The overall aim of the project would be to ensure that people transitioning into the community are supported to participate equally and be socially included in their community from DP to independent living using a community work model. We want to address two areas: 1) to develop and coordinate a resettlement support model for those leaving direct provision with a focus on key areas such as accommodation, social welfare, education and access to health services and 2) to ensure that those affected are part of designing and deciding on what supports they need.
Contact: Josette Newman
Project Name: Transition from Direct Provision to the Community
Geographical Area: Sligo
Diversity Sligo is running a programme of Transition from Direct Provision to the Community for residents of the accommodation centre who have obtained status. The dedicated Integration Support Worker’s duties are to secure accommodation, prevent misunderstandings when applying for benefits and services, assist in filling in forms when necessary, assist in setting up house, inform refugees about their rights and responsibilities, empower refugees to make decisions for themselves and progress in their integration into Irish society. There will be information given on Irish culture and customs, the role of men and women, bringing up children, education, living in the community, maintaining one’s own culture, volunteering and services that may help further. Refugees will be more independent and able to assume their roles as citizens, parents, workers/colleagues, residents of a community and we hope to prevent refugees and their children from having to resort to services such as child protection or mental health services. We are working in partnership with Tusla, the Home Youth Liaison Service, the Sligo Family Resource Centre, the County Sligo Childcare Committee, the Sligo LEADER Partnership, Focus Ireland Sligo, Bridgestock who run the accommodation centre, the Sligo Volunteer Centre, the Avalon Youth Centre, the Sligo Sports and Recreation Partnership and Mayo/Sligo/Leitrim ETB.
Contact: Leonie Kerins
Project Name: Refugee Advocacy & Integration Support Mentoring Programme
Geographical Area: Limerick
Doras Luimní wish to create and develop a sustainable and community-based support service that assists people who have lived in Direct Provision and are currently moving to or have moved to independent accommodation. In particular we hope to develop a network of volunteer community mentors who actively support the integration of former asylum seekers through informal meetings/ outings and offers of assistance with relevant issues. The project seeks to ensure effective integration into the local community, assist with sustaining tenancies in independent accommodation; informal support with navigating the social welfare and housing systems; encourage and assist with access to education, sport, social activities and employment. Doras will produce a training programme & manual for volunteer mentors to enable them to fulfil the role for this project. In recruiting and developing a network of volunteer mentors from the local community, support services for the target group will extend beyond the work of Doras Luimní and will see greater participation from the wider community and among local service providers. Mentors and participants will attend regular supervision meetings and will be supported by Doras Luimní staff to ensure effective delivery of the project goals and to retain commitment to the programme. The informal support and contacts made through mentoring programmes, as evidenced in research and evaluations of similar programmes, suggest that the development of local and community-based mentoring networks lead to the formation of long-lasting relationships that can go some way towards meeting the information and social needs of refugees who have limited social support networks.
Integration and Support Unit (ISU)
Contact: Yuvi Basanth
Project Name: Intercultural Men’s Shed
Geographical Area: Waterford City & County
The Integration and Support Unit is Piloting an Intercultural Men’s Shed Programme for Asylum Seeker Men living in Direct Provision Centres. This is in direct response to their health and transition needs identified through our Outreach work programmes. The focus is on working with those in preparation for transition to the wider community and providing supports to those who have recently received status. Our experience of working directly with Asylum Seeker and Refugee Men identifies that many of them suffer from poor physical health, isolation, depression, mental health, poor sleep patterns, a lack of opportunities towards employment, education and training, skills deficits, racism, income poverty and family separation. Statistics typically show that men suffer from these in greater proportion than women and are less likely to discuss their health issues with others. The establishment of an Intercultural Men’s Shed will provide a space for Migrant groups of men to meet locally to talk and work together around their health based issues and to explore options for engagement in non-profit activities. Activities range from information sessions to utilising skills that they may already have and can share with other men for mutual benefit and support. The ethos of the ISU has always been to develop options to develop peer supports and advocacy so that service users can become the service providers of the future and to be the leaders in their community. Refugee and Asylum Seeker Men will form the membership; facilitated by the ISU. Objectives are to: Provide the men with a broad framework of activities and skills; Provide information sessions from service providers about availability of supports and services e.g. health, housing, education, training, employment, social inclusion etc; Identify service gaps particularly in health and mental health to enable them to begin their lives in a truly constructive way and to address self-help activities to promote better mental health and well-being such as Yoga and Meditation exercises; Provide skills to enable them to transition into the community e.g. accessing Social Welfare information on entitlements, budgeting, sourcing accommodation, information on tenancy responsibilities, linking with support agencies in the community, cooking and other practical skills, food & nutrition, sourcing utility services including refuse collection, knowledge of the Revenue system etc. as many of these men are not familiar with day-to-day systems in Ireland; Build capacity to empower them to advocate on their own behalf using a range of methodologies for engagement e.g. Music, Arts, education, sport etc; Support initiatives to provide opportunities for representation on local community development structures; Develop skills to promote inclusion, engagement and equality of access to education, training and employment opportunities.
Jesuit Refugee Service Ireland
Contact: David Moriarty
Project Name: PATHS Project
Geographical Area: Nationwide
The PATHS Project will seek to assist persons granted status/leave to remain to exit Direct Provision in a timely manner by facilitating access to appropriate accommodation options and the provision of comprehensive integration (education, employment, psychosocial, links to the community) supports throughout the transition process and beyond. It aims to gather evidence to inform the development of a more equitable and sustainable model of integration for all persons granted international protection/leave to remain and consequently to improve overall integration outcomes for the country as a whole. The PATHS Project will be jointly delivered by JRS Ireland and the Peter McVerry Trust (PMVT), drawing on their respective experiences and capacities in homelessness and in asylum and migration.
Laois Partnership Company
Contact: Storm Powell
Project Name: Transition from Direct Provision
Geographical Area: Laois
Laois Partnership Co, in conjunction with Doras Luimní, will provide an advice service to the residents of the Montague DP Centre to help streamline the move from direct provision to independent living in the community. A part-time worker will be appointed to provide direct practical support for those who were recently granted refugee status. The worker will support residents at every step of their journey from supporting people access housing, registering for their GNIB card, applying for child-benefit (where applicable), registering on the Council housing list, applying for social welfare payments, securing deposit, accessing local services including volunteering, employment, education, enterprise and others. Each resident will have a Resettlement, Integration and Capacity Building Plan. A hardship revolving loan fund will be available to further support clients who have difficulty accessing deposits, paying bus fares, or purchasing essential items. We anticipate that, over the year, we will support 30 people exit direct provision. Laois Partnership Co. is the local development company for Co Laois and delivers a large number of programmes on behalf of the State and the European Union including the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) and the LEADER Programme. Doras Luimní is one of the leading specialist migrant NGOs in Ireland and has a proven track record in delivering on impact in Limerick, Portlaoise and nationally.
Migrant Rights Centre Ireland
Contact: Caoimhe Sheridan
Project Name: A Community Development Response to Integration, Resettlement and Relocation
Geographical Area: National
The Irish Refugee and Migrant Coalition (IRMC) set up in July 2015, brings together 23 organisations working in the fields of international development, humanitarian assistance, migrant and refugee rights to develop a collective Irish response to the unfolding situation of people seeking refuge in the EU. This project aims to develop community and participative approaches to the long-term integration of asylum seekers and refugees. It seeks to develop a response which supports and encourages communities to respect and celebrate diversity, welcome and promote positive integration and support those who make Ireland their home to become active and equal members of society. This project aims to empower refugee communities, raise their collective voice on issues that affect them and enable decision making to be directly informed by the first hand experiences. This project will build on lessons learned from other programmes delivered in Ireland and will build on best practice models from other jurisdictions to inform the work. It will culminate in highlighting whether and how complementary pathways such as Community Sponsorship Programmes can promote positive integration and more social cohesion within local communities. It will also develop a National Community Development Programme (NCDP) for the integration of refugees with the ultimate aim of the Programme being supported by Government Departments and key stakeholders at local and national levels. Irish Refugee and Migration Coalition members: Action Aid Ireland, Amnesty Ireland, Association of Missionaries and Religious of Ireland, Community Work Ireland, Christian Aid, Comhlámh, Crosscare, Cultúr Migrants Centre, Dóchas, Doras Luimní, ENAR Ireland, Immigrant Council of Ireland, Irish Refugee Council, Jesuit Refugee Service, Mercy International Association, Migrant Rights Centre Ireland, Mayo Intercultural Action, Nasc Ireland, National Women’s Council of Ireland, Oxfam Ireland, New Communities Partnership, Trócaire, and World Vision Ireland.
NASC, the Irish Immigrant Support Centre
Contact: Fiona Finn
Project Name: Family Reunification – Securing integration for refugees and persons eligible for subsidiary protection
Geographical Area: Munster
Nasc’s project will support refugees and people who have been granted subsidiary protection to bring their families to Ireland. Our experience dictates that family reunification is one of the primary concerns of refugees and those with subsidiary protection once they have been granted status in Ireland. Additionally, Family Reunification is the cornerstone of effective integration. We will do this by providing an expert frontline information and advice information and advice service targeted at newly declared refugees. This work will be frontloaded initially, as The International Protection Act 2015, which has been signed into law and commenced in December 2016, will severely limit the rights of refugees to family reunification. We will seek to submit as many applications as possible under the old Act, ensuring that the maximum number of refugees will have an opportunity to submit applications for extended family members before the new law comes in. Our priority here will be to work with people whose family members are at risk due to war and conflict. The change in the law will, in our view, act as a clear barrier to both the effective transition to life outside Direct Provision and will negatively impact on the long-term integration prospects of refugees. We will also seek to address this by using the evidence base from our service to advocate for a change in law and policy. This is a long-term objective.
Place of Sanctuary Waterford
Contact: Sahr Yambasu
Project Name: Governance & Politics Training
Geographical Area: Waterford
Place of Sanctuary Waterford project is a series of training programmes to empower people in Direct Provision and refugees. These include mental health, sanctuary in governance, transitioning from Direct Provision into independent living, and sanctuary in politics training. These will be delivered by a mixture of qualified Irish and new resident individuals with an emphasis on practice more so than theory.
South West Mayo Development Company
Contact: Mia Natalya Pestova
Website: southmayo.com, miamayo.ie
Project Name: From Direct Provision to Independent Living
Geographical Area: Mayo
The project will be delivered by Mayo Intercultural Action, the project of South West Mayo Development Company. It will address the existing gaps in supports to people moving from the direct provision centre in Ballyhaunis, County Mayo, and to former direct provision residents recently settled in Co Mayo. Firstly, the project seeks to deliver enabled, informed and supported transition to independent living and increased access of the beneficiaries to mainstream supports in the county in relation to housing, employment, training, education, welfare, childcare, driving, health, family, etc. Secondly, the project aims to enhance social inclusion and connect beneficiaries with local community groups, clubs, volunteering opportunities, events and initiatives, as appropriate. Simultaneously, we expect to raise local awareness of the social needs of refugees and to enable welcoming community responses and integration opportunities for the group. Finally, the project will engage statutory agencies and front-line services to facilitate their learning of the specific needs of refugees and to inform local practices and responses. We plan to utilise the existing networks and other available avenues to raise awareness, influence policy and facilitate opportunities for giving voice to the beneficiaries at the appropriate platforms. Mayo Intercultural Action merged with South West Mayo Development Company in October 2016. MIA has a strong track record of delivering capacity building and integration projects for migrants, asylum seekers and refugees in county Mayo for over 10 years.
The Refugee Support Grants Programme is funded by Porticus UK and the Daughters of the Cross of Liege.
Currently there are no opportunities to apply for funding in this programme area