Reply To: Module 4 – Migration and Refugees

Niamh Hanlon

There is a direct provision centre in my locality where students in local schools can be placed for years at a time. I previously worked in an after school homework club there and so I became aware of some of the supports offered by the local community including local business sponsorships, GAA clubs and a number of charitable organisations. In my experience, the greatest means of support was in events that promoted inclusion, integration and friendships. For example, instead of having people drop a bag of clothes to the centre as a donation, the school could arrange a coffee morning where all parents in attendance (whether a refugee or not) can attend, have a chat and swap out items which they no longer need for those that are useful to them. While the adults chat, the children could just be kids together. It’s in these kinds of interactions that stigma is reduced and equality is created over a hierarchy and if that can be passed from one generation to the next then the sense of community can only be stronger as a result.

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