About the Programme
Over 11 million people have been either displaced or killed since March 2011 and 4.8 million people have registered with the UNHCR, having crossed borders in search of refuge from conflicts in Syria and Iraq. In response to this humanitarian cricis, the Irish Government has committed to receiving approximately 4,000 people through the Irish Refugee Protection Programme.
As a result of this commitment, 39 families have resettled in Donegal with more families expected in the coming months. The families undertake an initial language and orientation programme when they arrive in Ireland organised by the Department of Justice, before being resettled to County Donegal. As Programme Refugees who have been invited to Ireland, the refugees will have the same rights as Irish citizens to education, housing, health, social welfare and employment services
To support these families and to ensure they can settle into the community, DLDC provide resettlement support services on behalf of Donegal County Council and in liaison with the Resettlement Interagency Working Group.
Two Resettlement Workers and one Intercultural Worker are employed to implement the programme, to ensure that refugees can settle into the community, can access services appropriately and build lasting relationships with the local community.
A total of 39 families have resettled in Donegal which comprises of 199 individuals (88 adults and 111 children).
- 37 families are Syrian (all speak Arabic)
- 2 families are Iraqi (do not speak Arabic – 1 family speaks Kurdish Sorani and the other Kurdish Kurmanji)
- These families have been resettled in a phased basis in different areas of the county including Letterkenny, Carndonagh, Ballybofey and Stranorlar with children attending local pre-schools, primary schools and secondary schools.
An extensive range of services are offered to these families to support them to adjust to their new community and culture in Donegal. For example, providing information and accessing local services, schools and community support networks, ensuring that children can participate in local sporting activities with other children living in the locality and arranging for interpretation services to ensure that service providers and refugees can have proper communication.
This video describes some of the work being done to introduce the Middle Eastern Culture to the existing Irish Community in association with DLDC and other community organisations, such as the Born and Bread project and the Donegal Youth Service.