Nasc are delighted to secure funding to support refugee and asylum-seeking children and families from the inaugural RTÉ Toy Show Appeal
Nasc, Migrant and Refugee Rights Centre are honoured to be one of the successful grant applicants from the inaugural RTÉ Toy Show Appeal for our New Beginnings project which will provide practical supports to meet the needs of children and families exiting from Direct Provision as well as refugee children reuniting with their families in Ireland under family reunification.
Fiona Finn, Nasc CEO states, “we are absolutely delighted that the support from the RTÉ Toy Show Appeal will allow us to meet the needs of really vulnerable children and their families. Through our work with refugee and migrant communities, we been aware for many years that the times just after reunification in Ireland as well as the period just after a family has received a residency permission and is about to transition out of direct provision can be incredibly stressful. While these are often much anticipated and joyful times in families’ lives in Ireland, there is a heightened risk of children and families falling into poverty or homelessness and we were really concerned that these children were falling through the cracks and this was having a long term impact on their integration outcomes in Ireland.”
New Beginnings will allow Nasc to recruit a support worker on a part-time basis who will assist families to navigate the bureaucracy of finding suitable and stable housing and securing school places for children as well as assisting with material costs like school supplies. Families who speak little English and have limited or no computer literacy skills struggle to navigate an increasingly online world. That has been further exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, where more and more services have moved online and it’s increasingly difficult to get in-person appointments. Our experience has been that people can find that it takes weeks to get a PPS number which in turn impacts on their ability to do essential things like register with a GP or open a bank account. The support worker will be able to provide that hands-on support that is currently missing.
A refugee sponsor speaking to an independent researcher Nasc commissioned in 2020, emphasised the difficulties refugee communities faced in dealing with Ireland’s bureaucracy:
“But many, many people from my country they’re not able to do that. And many other people from different countries who doesn’t speak English and doesn’t know how the system works and who have very less support. So it's very so hard for them to go and get PPS number, how to talk to the social welfare, how to get registered with the Gardaí and all that things. So the settlement problem we have it's so huge when it comes to the family reunification.”
The project will also be able to provide additional English language tuition to support the English language learning that children receive in schools. This will particularly benefit non-English speaking children who arrive in Ireland as the school year ends and may spend two to three months in Ireland without any English language support.
“The donations so generously made by the people of Ireland to the RTÉ Toy Show Appeal mean that Nasc now have an opportunity to help children and their families overcome these barriers and ensure that children and families have the best possible start to life in Ireland.
Notes to Editor
1. Nasc is the Irish word for ‘link’. Nasc works to link migrants and refugees to their rights.
2. The RTÉ Toy Show Appeal is administered by the Community Foundation of Ireland.
3. Independent research commissioned and published by Nasc in 2020, Invisible People: The Integration Support Needs of Refugee Families Reunified in Ireland, made several recommendations relating to the need for post-arrival orientation and integration supports for refugee families.