The first ever Irish Refugee week taking place from the 19-25 June. Refugee week is a festival where we celebrate compassion and connection, and everyone is welcome.
Check out what is happening here, and add your own event to the calendar!
We want to highlight the quiet and incredibly important work being done all over Ireland every day to welcome refugees. Simple acts make a massive difference and kind communities matter. We want to honour the teachers who have welcomed children from all over the world into their classrooms. The coaches who have introduced new worlds to our future sportspeople. The families who have invited their new neighbours round for tea. We are celebrating all the simple acts of kindness to a stranger; a helping hand, a lift, an introduction, a donation, a steer in the right direction. Refugee week is to celebrate you, refugee week is for us all.
A refugee is an ordinary person like you or me whose lives have been changed by circumstances outside their control. Someone who has left their family and friends behind, searching for hope away from home. Real hope is based on action. It means people regaining control over their lives. People who just want to carry on with their lives in safety. Get an education, provide for their family, make friends with their neighbours. People who when given the opportunity, can thrive and contribute to their communities. Everyone benefits from compassion.
Join us however you can, to put compassion into action. Whether that means holding or attending a local event. See this event pack for information on how you can organise something in your area.
Get involved through simple acts like watching a film, reading a book or having a conversation. Reach out and make a connection in person or online. For more ideas on the simple way to make a difference, click here.
There are lots of great organisations all over Ireland who you can get involved with beyond Refugee Week. The Sanctuary Runners have running clubs all over the country. Sports Against Racism Ireland are holding the Unity Cup football tournament in Dublin’s North East Inner City in June and July. Volunteer for the tournament or learn more about how the festival brings communities together.
Join your nearest Places of Sanctuary group or encourage your school to become a school of sanctuary. Join Amnesty International’s I Welcome Refugees Network or ask your local volunteer centre or an NGO based in your area for about opportunities to help out. Volunteer with Failte Isteach, the Irish Red Cross or join another organisation that supports and welcomes refugees. For those who can, consider hosting a refugee in your home (via the Irish Red Cross Register or Pledges or Helping Irish Hosts), or getting involved in a community sponsorship group to support a refugee family to move to Ireland.
Some ideas of how you can get involved from the 19-25 June:
Refugee Week in schools:
Schools are learning about refugee week on every side of the country and Schools of Sanctuary Ireland have curated a brilliant resource and activity pack for participating schools- classroom resources, art, music, storytelling, quizzes, something for every class. If your school would like to get involved, register to receive the free pack. You’ll find the sign up form here. If you would like to know more about how to become a School of Sanctuary, please visit this webpage. The latest Schools of Sanctuary Ireland newsletter can be viewed here.
Hold a street feast in your neighbourhood:
Street Feast is a neighbourhood street party that will be hosted by neighbours all over Ireland on the same day, 25 June. There are lots of good reasons to have a Street Feast. Most of all it’s a great excuse to eat good food, meet new people who live near you and have fun! Street Feast gives us an excuse to get out there, share food and conversation, and help build stronger neighbourhoods.
Street Feast is also a great way to explore different ways your community can work together to make great things happen, you might discover new neighbours, new interests and new ways to improve your community together.
There are street feasts happening everywhere, find one closest to you. Alternatively, it only takes a couple of hours to set up your own! Click here to see the five steps to organising a street feast.
Read an extraordinary story:
This Refugee Week from 19-25 June join children and young people all over Ireland to read extraordinary stories. Ordinary people whose lives were changed forever when forced to leave their home and travel to strange new lands in search of safety. Families and friends are left behind, whole worlds change and hope is found. Click here to find our booklist suitable for all ages, and head to your local library or bookshop to pick them up.
Promote the week and spread the word! Find Graphics, logos, example text etc. here to spread the good news that Ireland is celebrating Refugee Week for the first time.
Refugee Week Ireland is coordinated through a steering committee. Members include UNHCR Ireland, Irish Refugee Council, Irish Red Cross, Doras, Nasc, Jesuit Refugee Service and the Ukraine Response Forum.
Thank you to our partners, Children’s Books Ireland, Schools of Sanctuary and Street Feast.
If you have any questions please reach out to email@example.com