Solidarity with Refugees: 10 Things You Can Do to Help in Ireland

Participant holds a banner during the Day of Action on the ‪Refugee Crisis organised by Uplift, Migrant Rights Centre Ireland and Irish Refugee Council in Dublin, 5th September 2015

 Last update: 24/05/2016

The ongoing human tragedy across the Mediterranean and Europe has shocked us all. While we are still waiting for our government to take a firm action and commit to help refugees, charities, NGOs and people across Ireland, have been organising to put the pressure on our political leaders to finally act, as well as find more practical ways to help ease the crisis.

To give you an idea what you can do we compiled all calls to action and practical ways you can help in one place. We are updating this page on an ongoing basis so stay tuned and email aga@enarireland.ie if you wish to add or update any information.

1. Stand up for the rights of refugees & asylum seekers

Irish Refugee Council prepared three great toolkits on the rights of asylum seekers and refugees for the recent General Elections. These toolkits set out some key issues for those who support asylum seekers and refugees to raise with TDs. They contain questions for candidates intended to open up the discussion, basic facts and the commitments needed if Ireland is serious about providing a safe haven for refugees: 

2. Contact your political representatives

3. Support your local refugee solidarity group

There are many solidarity groups now set up across the country where people have come together to offer practical help and collect necessary humanitarian supplies.

  • Ireland Refugee Solidarity is the main coordinating group where you can find most of up to date information. Currently all goods donations are halted. Please check their Facebook page for updates how you can get involved. If you have any further queries, please send to the relevant email address:

    For communications: communicationscorkcalais@gmail.com
    For volunteering in Ireland: volunteercorkcalaisconvoy@gmail.com
    For fundraising: fundraisecorkcalais@gmail.com

  • Ireland Says Welcome is an information sharing platform consolidating news and events on refugee solidarity initiatives working across Ireland and Europe. Get in touch with them to see how you can help.
  • Find, like and support your local solidarity group for supporters and volunteers on Facebook  HERE.
  • Members of the Greek Solidarity Committee have been travelling to the overwhelmed Greek islands such as Kos and Lesbos to offer assistance. If you wish to offer your support you can contact the group’s Facebook page.

4. Volunteer 

  • Check in the section nr 3 above for your local solidarity groups and contact them directly to check if they need help.
  • Irish group Disaster Tech Lab are sending a team to the islands between Greece and Turkey to build public internet facilities which will serve as public information points as well as allowing the refugees to establish contact relatives and friends. In addition to this they will provide secure WiFi networks for other humanitarian aid workers to use. They are looking for volunteers with specific technical skills (WiFi networking, Vsat, VoIP). Apply HERE.
  • Translate for ‘Refugee Phrasebook’ to help new arrivals overcome language barriers and deal with a variety of issues such as seeking asylum, medical attention etc.

5. Attend the refugee solidarity events or organise your own.

“Refugees Welcome” aerial photo at the Sandymount Beach, 13 September 2015

“Refugees Welcome” aerial photo created during the event at the Sandymount Beach, 13 September 2015

Upcoming events

  • Ongoing, every 2 weeks , Dublin Dublin Refugee Solidarity Meetings - check their Facebook page  for upcoming meetings.
  • Thurs, 26th May, Dublin - Engagement and disengagement: implications for human interaction - Drawing on his experiences volunteering in the Calais ‘Jungle’ Camp and working on the shores of Lesbos, Dr Sheerin will examine the role of engagement and disengagement in relation to societal responses to people who have been arriving in Europe. 
  • Thurs, 26th May, DublinChats and Acts- Open Meeting - The Refugee and Migrant Solidarity Ireland group (formally Dublin Calais) invites you to  join their group and share ideas.   
  • Sat, 28th May, Dublin - The Sea Between Us: Fundraiser - Film Screening followed by a Q&A and Panel Discussion. The proceeds of this event will go towards grass-roots refugee support projects in Greece.
  • Sat, 28th May, Cork - Introduction to Humanitarian Logistics - the aim of this course is to provide participants with an introduction to some of the key principles of Humanitarian Logistics.

       WORLD REFUGEE DAY EVENTS

  • Sunday, 19th June, Cork – World Refugee Day - Nasc Ireland are organising a silent walk through Cork City Centre to coincide with World Refugee Day which falls annually on the 20th of June, to show solidarity and to remember the men, women and children seeking protection throughout the world.
  • Sat, 9th July, Dublin – No Borders – A night of theatre themed around migrant solidarity.

       Do you have an event coming up or know about one? Let us know!

Start an event to show solidarity

6. Donate to groups and charities working with refugees in Ireland and in Syria

Non-monetary donations

  • The Irish Benders & Burners collective is currently building stove burners for refugees in France and collecting materials to bring there for tents etc.
  • Children suppliesSlings for Solidarity Ireland are facilitating sending slings, carriers and care packages to as many places as there are families in need. You can find your local collection point HERE.
  • IT equipment – contact Disaster Tech Lab at contact@disastertechlab.org to see what we need.
  • Medical equipment – Human Appeal Ireland is collecting medical supplies, beds and equipment for hospitals and medical centres in Syria.
  • Instruments – Music Against Borders are taking donations of old or unwanted instruments for the migrants at Calais.
  • Books – the Jungle Library have set up a makeshift library at the Calais camp.
  • Buy specific goods from an internet wish list. There are a number of wish lists that have been set up online to help ease the supplies issues surrounding the crisis. An Amazon list directed at Calais and Greece can be accessed HERE and the one set up by Slings for Solidarity Ireland HERE

Monetary donations

  • Support the efforts of a mobile medical team from Ireland  here.
  • Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), are operating ships in the Mediterranean at present,they are also on the ground in the areas people are arriving at, as they reach Europe. Donate here.
  • Human Appeal Ireland has been working on the ground in Syria and in neighbouring countries caring for refugees and displaced families as well as supporting medical clinics, schools, and accommodation projects. Donate here.
  • Ireland Calais Refugee Solidarity is raising money here
  • Irish Refugee Council’s appeal to provide humanitarian support to refugees in Budapest collects here.
  • Disaster Tech Lab are sending a team to the islands between Greece and Turkey to establish working internet and communications at the sites. Donate here.
  • Irish Red Cross provides support for asylum seekers. Their page is here.
  • Concern – you can donate to the Syria Emergency Appeal here.
  • Trócaire – donate for their Refuge Crisis Appeal here.
  • The UNHCR can be donated to directly here.

7. Pledge a bed

  • Refugee BnB looks for people willing to host a refugee family for a year starting from January 2016.

8. Support the Campaign to End Direct Provision (#EndDP) and support refugees already in Ireland

This refugee crisis isn’t the first time Ireland has failed those fleeing military conflicts, torture and oppression. Thousands of people continue to live in the inhumane and widely criticised Direct Provision system in Ireland, which has been called the Magdalene Laundries of our generation.

  • Support the education of asylum seekers & refugees in Ireland.  There are people who are Ireland now who would value support.  Some ways that you can help include financial support to asylum seekers and refugees to access education and training.  Email EducationGrants@irishrefugeecouncil.ie if you want to make a donation.

9. Challenge uninformed views, debunk myths and stay informed

  • Challenge those stating that Ireland has its own problems and we can’t afford to help. DevelopmentEducation.ie advices to approach this sentiment with the facts. “Ireland is a wealthy country. We do not have to pick between ‘helping our own’ and ‘helping them’. We could instead choose between the extreme wealth of some people in Ireland and helping all those who need it. There is enough money in the Irish economy to ensure the basic needs of Irish people and refugees. The problem is that the wealth is not shared equality, instead it is concentrated within the hands of a few. This is our problem, not ‘others’ crossing into our borders.”
  • If anyone tries to justify their anti-refugee position by recalling Ireland’s housing crisis you can also point them to the below the Irish Housing Network Facebook status, a front-line organisation for Irish housing crisis. It will help you to stress that their views are not in line with the official campaign.
  • Stay informed to get more understanding of the problem. Have a look and explore the below resources:
    • We highly recommend watching this video that explains the causes of the current refugee crisis and situation in Syria while debunking myths and misinformation in just 6 minutes.

10. Report racist content in relation to the refugee crisis in media and online

As the refugee crisis unfolds across the EU, we’ve seen an increasing number of racist comments online, social and traditional media as well a raise of racist violence. If you come across any racist incident or content, please take a screen shot (if applicable) and report it to our racist incident monitoring tool www.iReport.ie so we can monitor and keep a record.

 

 

If you wish to add or update any information provided here email aga@enarireland.ie.

 

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