Community Sponsorship Ireland – Communities Supporting Refugees is a new and innovative way for communities to directly involve themselves in welcoming newly arrived refugees to their area and to work with them to build vibrant and inclusive communities across Ireland. Community Sponsorship is based on a recognised successful model for refugee settlement which was developed in Canada in the late 1970s. It was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 19 September 2016 and is now being expanded to a number of other countries.
The formal launch of this programme followed a highly successful pilot programme. The pilot saw five communities welcoming families to their areas. Syrian families were supported to settle in Dunshaughlin, Midleton, Carrigtwohill, Kells, Lismore, and Rathmines and both the refugees and local communities have reported very positive experiences.
The Community Sponsorship Ireland Programme is a complementary refugee resettlement stream to the traditional state-centred model. The key feature of this programme is that it is based on the establishment of a group of people in a community who commit to support a family in their area. These families have been recognised as refugees by the United Nations and arrive in Ireland following orientation organised by the Department of Justice and Equality.
It is up to these community groups to access accommodation locally for these families and support them as they access services. All refugees are fully entitled to health, education and social welfare services, but the community groups support the families in navigating these services.
The Community Sponsorship model benefits our local communities. It also gives people an opportunity to support refugees and to extend a warm welcome to them when they arrive in Ireland.
To read the leaflet on Community Sponsorship in Ireland, please click here.
For more information, please visit the website by clicking here.