Doras is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation working to promote and protect human rights.
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.
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. We campaign at local, national and international level for change in policy and legislation relating to Protection & Direct Provision, Anti-Trafficking and Anti-Racism.
Read more about our impact in 2017
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.
Doras is registered as a company and has charitable status.
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, which dispersed asylum seekers to accommodation centres in Limerick and around the country. The name Doras was chosen to symbolise an open door welcoming new communities to Limerick and as an acronym for Development Organisation for Refugees and Asylum Seekers.
Initially, the organisation supported asylum seekers by providing English language classes and outreach visits to the centre’s – these activities remain an important part of our work.
We have grown rapidly over the years and now employ a team of full-time and part-time staff members, supported by our dedicated volunteers – some of whom have been with Doras since the very beginning. In early 2015, Doras opened a sub-office in Portlaoise to implement a refugee resettlement project, assisting newly arrived Syrian refugees to effectively integrate into community life in Portlaoise. Though this project officially concluded in mid 2016, Doras continue to support the families through the volunteer family advocacy programme.
In 2017, Doras opened a sub-office in Wexford to support the integration of Syrian refugee families and individuals who resettled to the region, building on our expertise and experience in Portlaoise.
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.
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.
Policy Officer: Donnah Vuma
Communications Officer: Brian Vandamme
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.
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.
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: Hassan Shariif
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: Daithi Nolan
Advice & Information Officer: Fiona Taylor
Resettlement Support Worker (Wexford): Jo Kimmins
Interpreter & Cross-cultural Worker (Wexford): Sulafa Ali
Sulafa is a graduate of the University of Gezira, Sudan, and has a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from UCD, Dublin. Previously employed as clinical practice manager at the Ely Hospital in Wexford from 2002 to 2017, she joined Doras as an interpreter and cross-cultural worker in November 2017. Well versed in Arabic and English, Sulafa has a deep understanding of Cross-Cultural issues and the integration challenges facing migrants. Sulafa utilises her communications and interpersonal skills in her role of supporting refugees resettling in County Wexford.
Chairperson: Trisha Rainsford
Board Member: Therese Barry
Board Member: Marsha Montgomery
PATRON: Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland
Board Member: Rizwan Kahn
Board Member: James Carr
Board Member: Gordon Milne
Board Member: Séamus Enright, CSsR
FOUNDER & LIFE PRESIDENT: Anne Scully
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 email@example.com or call 061 310328. We welcome your feedback.