Doras became a Regional Support Organisation (RSO) for Community Sponsorship inititiatives in counties Limerick, Tipperary and Clare at the start of 2021.
Community Sponsorship enables neighbours, friends, colleagues, or members of a local sports/social club to come together and play an active role in the reception and integration of refugee families resettling in Ireland.
By getting involved, you are directly supporting families seeking a secure life, as well as offering friendship and creating the opportunity for cultural exchange with refugees as they move to Ireland. As part of a group, you will help make the family’s move to Ireland as smooth as possible. You are helping to build bridges between newcomers and settled communities, bringing people together.
Community Sponsor Groups organise to provide both financial and in-kind support, as well as social, orientation and administrative support as needed, to people being resettled in the local community. Supports include meeting people to provide a warm welcome and cultural orientation, organising housing for two years, supporting access to medical, social and other mainstream services, English language tuition, gaining employment and ultimately independence and self-sufficiency.
Who can be resettled to Ireland via Community Sponsorship Ireland?
The referral of refugees to Community Sponsorship Ireland will be made under existing procedures already in place for the government-managed resettlement programme. Under these procedures, refugees must first be registered with UNHCR and then identified by them as refugees in need of resettlement. They may then be referred to the Irish Government who will interview them and take a final decision on whether or not a refugee is accepted on resettlement. Before making this decision, each candidate is the subject of a Garda security assessment, interview, and the checking of fingerprints against national and international databases.
What is required of Community Sponsor Groups to prepare for the arrival of refugees?
In advance of the family’s arrival, Community Sponsor Groups are asked to plan in detail for the provision of all necessary supports and to demonstrate their preparations through the submission of a settlement plan. Regional Support Organisations (RSO) such as Doras can help guide groups through this process. We are delighted to have the support of Clare Immigrant Support Centre in implementing Community Sponsorship in County Clare.
– All members must attend mandatory training
– All members must undergo Garda vetting
– The group must fundraise the required amount
– The group must source accommodation suitable for a family for 24 months
– All members must complete Tusla’s Introduction to Children First e-learning module on Child Safeguarding; and all other mandated safeguarding training
– The group must draft a comprehensive Safeguarding Statement with support from the Designated Liaison Person in their Regional Support Organisation
I’d like to get involved. What should I do next?
If you’re interested in learning more about community sponsorship, or are interested in getting involved in counties Limerick, Tipperary and Clare, please contact Doras Community Sponsorship Support Worker, Ahmed Hassan Mohamed – firstname.lastname@example.org.
‘You saved our lives’
Syrian family the first resettled under community-led programme