Albert* was referred to the Connect Project from another refugee support agency after he was transferred to another Direct Provision Centre at very short notice. This disrupted his attendance at third level education and the social networks and supports he had built up. Albert is a member of the LGBT community and suffers with mental health issues. He was very isolated when he first arrived and was subjected to verbal abuse and threats from other residents at the Centre.
What we did?
- Provided emotional and practical support.
- Linked him in with social networks in the community and provided orientation information.
- Linked him in with the LGBT support projects and events.
- Registered him with a counselling service in Cork.
- Registered him on a training course and linked him to scholarship support for third level education.
- Supported him to engage in volunteering at Nasc and other community agencies.
- Advocated on his behalf to his solicitor and the International Protection Office regarding his immigration application.
- Advocated on his behalf to the Direct Provision Centre and the Reception and Integration agency re his difficulties in the Centre.
- Supported him with CV preparation and setting educational goals.
Albert reports enhanced health and wellbeing overall, as well as a better sense of safety and security in his accommodation. He has improved knowledge of and access to education and now has a daily routine that contributes positively towards his mental health. The counselling sessions also support him with his mental health recovery. He also improved understanding of how the immigration system works and how he could best self-advocate to maximise his chances of a successful outcome. Albert now has refugee status, which gives him the opportunity to forge a new life in Ireland.
His sense of belonging and inclusion has further increased, through making links with the LGBT community and gaining more opportunities to integrate.