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About Us

ABOUT US

Doras is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation working to promote and protect human rights since the year 2000. Our core areas of work include Direct Support, Advocacy & Campaigns and Integration Planning.

WHO WE ARE

Doras is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation working to promote and protect the rights of people from a migrant background in Ireland.

Our vision for Ireland is a society where equality and respect for the human rights of migrants are social norms.

Our mission is to promote and uphold the human rights and well-being of migrants through personal advocacy, integration development and collaborative advocacy campaigns at the local and national level.

WHAT WE DO

Direct Support – We provide a free and confidential advice and legal information service on immigration-related issues including asylum applications; Direct Provision; Family Reunification; employment rights and reporting racism. Each year, over 1,200 migrants access our service.

Advocacy and Campaigning – We campaign at local, national and international level for change in policy and legislation relating to International Protection, Direct Provision, Anti-Trafficking and Anti-Racism. Read more about our impact in 2018.

Integration Planning – We work with a range of stakeholders in Limerick and nationally, including statutory, voluntary and community bodies, to ensure that all those who now call Ireland their home feel valued, recognised and appreciated.

 

We are very grateful for the financial assistance from individual supporters and organisations including Atlantic Philanthropies; Sisters of Mercy; Redemptorist Community; Health Service Executive; Community Foundation for Ireland; Dormant Account Funds; Salesians; Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration; European Commission under the AMIF 2014 – 2020 with support from the Department of Justice & Equality.

OUR STORY

Doras was founded by a small group of dedicated volunteers in the year 2000, in response to the establishment of the Direct Provision system by the Irish government. The name Doras was chosen to symbolise an open door, welcoming new communities to Limerick and Ireland, and as an acronym for Development Organisation for Refugees and Asylum Seekers.

Initially, the groups supported asylum seekers by providing English classes and outreach visits to Direct Provision centres – these activities, among many others, remain core aspects of our work today.

Doras has grown over the years in response to developing issues, and now employ a team of full-time and part-time staff members, supported by our dedicated volunteers. In early 2015, Doras opened a sub-office in Portlaoise, to implement a refugee resettlement project as part of the Irish Refugee Resettlement Programme (IRRP). This project was aimed at assisting newly arrived Syrian refugees to effectively integrate into life in Ireland. The success of this project lead to further resettlement projects in counties Wexford from 2017 and Limerick from 2018.

Today, Doras continues it’s work to promote and protect the rights of migrants in Ireland through direct support, advocacy and integration support.

OUR STAFF

Our staff work as a team from our offices in Limerick to accomplish Doras’s goals and mission.

Chief Executive Officer: John Lannon

Reception & Admin Assistant: Anne Purcell

Anne started working with Doras in August 2017. Anne has previous experience working in the fields of legal and medical administration. Anne is  from Limerick and is enjoying the experience of working in the environment of the Doras office.

Finance Officer: Audrey O' Sullivan

Audrey joined Doras in July 2017. Audrey has over twenty years’ experience in both the Public and Private financial sectors. Audrey holds a qualification as an Accountant Technician (IATI) and further her studies in Certified Public Accountancy(CPA). She also holds a qualification in Supervisory Management. Audrey has worked closely with the Department of Social Protection and Department of Justice & Equality in her previous role as Financial Administrator in the Disability Sector and Traveller Integration Project. Audrey is currently completing her practice hours in University of Limerick as a Counsellor/Psychotherapist. Audrey has a passion for equality and choice for all.

Policy Officer: Aideen Roche

Communications Officer: Brian Vandamme

Legal Officer: Fiona McCaul

Fiona McCaul first joined Doras Luimni in August 2013 on a 9 month internship with the legal service.  She continued working with the legal service on a voluntary basis and was appointed Legal Officer in June 2015.  She holds a B.A (Hons) in European Community Studies and a first class Postgraduate Honours Degree in Irish Law (LL.b) from the National University of Ireland, Galway. Fiona also holds a Diploma in Community Development from NUIG and is an advocate of achieving social change through redistribution in order to eliminate poverty and social exclusion. Fiona is also passionate about recognising diversity through promoting the full participation of minorities, to ensure an equal and accessible society.  Fiona provides one-to-one legal advice and information on a range of immigration related issues.

Advice & Legal Information Officer: Rachael Bermingham

Advice & Information Officer: Consolata Okonkwo

Consolata Nneka Okonkwo holds degrees in Business Studies and Banking &Finance. She also has diplomas in event management, Business with Information Systems, ECDL, SAGE Accounting and Payroll, and has completed a course on Community Work in a Changing Ireland. She worked with PAUL Partnership as a Receptionist/Administrator from 2007 to 2009. Consolata joined Doras Luimní as a Receptionist Administrator and after a few years became our Operations Assistant. She enjoys helping clients by meeting with them one-to-one. Consolata’s dedication led her to volunteer with Doras Luimni as Advice and information Intern while also working as a Case Worker for Immigration Advice Service in Limerick for a number of years. Presently she is the Advice & Information Officer and will continue her support for people and migrants in Limerick. Consolata is originally from Nigeria, and is bilingual in Igbo and English.

Advice & Information Officer: Sue Windle

Advice & Information Officer: Fiona Taylor

Integration Support Worker: Ahmed Hassan Mohamed

Ahmed first joined Doras on a student placement supporting the Advice and Support team, as part of the LIT BA in Social Care programme. Ahmed has worked in areas related to youth, education, environment, peace building, gender and leadership for the last 4 years, including support & outreach roles with Paul Partnership and Kerry Action for Development Education. Ahmed has also worked with the Global Peace Foundation Ireland for the last 3 years, focusing on engaging youth and students within Limerick in environmental sustainability, peace and education related projects.

Education Coordinator: Helen O’Grady

Helen has worked for Doras Luimní since 2008. A recipient of Vodafone Awards in 2008, Helen initially joined Doras as Education and Employment Coordinator. Helen has a particular interest in integration through education and she is now responsible for the implementation of Doras projects funded by Pobal through the European Refugee Fund. Prior to joining Doras, Helen worked in the field of development education where she became involved with training and supporting asylum seekers and refugees. She was also involved in a European Gruntvig partnership with five countries that exchanged learning on mentoring practices for newly arrived migrants. Helen has a Degree in Social Studies in Social Care and a Masters in Contemporary Migration and Diaspora Studies.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Our board of directors guide Doras’s goals and mission.

Chairperson: Trisha Rainsford

Board Member: Therese Barry

Board Member: James Carr

Board Member: Rizwan Kahn

Board Member: Sikhulekile Ruth Ndlova

Board Member: Gordon Milne

Board Member: Marsha Montgomery

Board Member: Linda Kirwisa

Board Member: Séamus Enright, CSsR

Founder and Life President: Ann Scully

Patron: Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland

OUR CODE OF CONDUCT

Doras has signed up to the Dóchas Code of Conduct for Images and Messages, which provides a framework of guiding principles that organisations can refer to in designing and implementing their public communications strategy. Doras has adopted the Code and we are committed to the values of the code including a belief in the equality of all people and acceptance of the need to promote fairness, solidarity and justice. Where reasonable and practical, within the need to reflect reality, we strive to:

  • Choose images and messages based on the values of respect, equality, solidarity and justice;
  • Truthfully represent any image or situationin its immediate and wider context in order to improve public understanding of the complexities of the issues involved;
  • Avoid images and messages that potentially stereotype, sensationalise or discriminate against people, situations or places;
  • Use images, messages, and case studies with the full understanding, participation and permission of the subjects (or their parents/guardian);
  • Ensure that those whose situation is being represented have the opportunity to communicate their stories themselves;
  • Establish and record whether the subjects wish to be named or identifiable and always act accordingly;
  • Conform to the highest standards in relation to human rights and the protection of vulnerable people.

Download the Code of Conduct or go to the Dóchas website for more information. To contact the Doras Communications Officer about any aspect of the Code of Conduct or our implementation of the code, please email info@dorasluimni.org or call 061 310328. We welcome your feedback.

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