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News from around the Network
June Edition

Welcome to our June newsletter,  packed with news and development from across the network of Places of Sanctuary Ireland.
The movement of Places of Sanctuary Ireland has seen positive changes and growth in various areas and has expanded its outreach by helping those in need of sanctuary across all of Ireland.
This is our summer newsletter and it is made for you, we hope you enjoy this newsletter and learn more about the various work done by the network of Places of Sanctuary Ireland. Please let us know what you would like to see and learn about in the future by getting in touch with us via email on with your news, comments and suggestions.


City of Sanctuary Conference and AGM, 2018

Pic on the left: City of Sanctuary delegates from Cork and Dublin relaxing with colleagues from Bristol by the River Tyne after the Newcastle conference.

Places of Sanctuary Ireland was invited for the City of Sanctuary national conference and AGM held at Newcastle. We received a very warm welcome in sunny Newcastle by the Northeast Coordinator Sam and the vibrant Newcastle City of Sanctuary group. It was a great experience for the eight delegates from the island of Ireland network. The discussions were enriching as so many ideas were shared across different groups. Veronica Crosbie, Chairperson of University of Sanctuary Committee, Ireland, spoke to the delegates about how higher education institutions in Ireland are joining the City of Sanctuary movement. Also, our Sanctuary in Politics programme was highlighted and the Schools of Sanctuary resource book from Belfast was showcased, both attracting a lot of interest from other delegates. Many interesting ideas such as developing Gardens of Sanctuary, creation of resource packs for mental health, using the media to promote stories of sanctuary were shared across the network. You can read the complete notes and report from the AGM and other news from the City of Sanctuary network here.
UNHCR's solidarity statement World Refugee Day
UNHCR’s #WithRefugees campaign is inviting cities all over the world who are working to promote inclusion, support refugees and bring communities together to sign a statement of solidarity #WithRefugees ahead of World Refugee Day 20 June.

To highlight this work UNHCR propose that cities sign onto a statement of solidarity #WithRefugees. The statement of solidarity will be promoted through a global press release on 20 June 2018. We hope that with at least 100 cities endorsing the statement a strong message of global solidarity would be sent for families forced to flee.

To access the letter in four languages and find out more, click here.
Seeking sanctuary in Northern Ireland: A resource pack
There are many questions that are associated with migration such as 'Why are they here? Who are they? What impact will they have on our lives? What can I do?' and as a host community it is important to understand the various needs and challenges involved both for people who arrive here and for us as a society when we offer sanctuary. In response, Embrace Northern Ireland, a group of Christians working together to promote a positive response to people seeking sanctuary, has developed a comprehensive booklet to provide people with factual information and offer practical suggestions. Some of which includes learning about why people flee, the process of applying for asylum and access to support in Northern Ireland and more. To read the full booklet, click here.
News from Higher Education Institutions
Limerick: The University of Limerick (UL) held its first Sanctuary Week from March 20 th to 23 rd . This was undertaken as part of the ongoing University of Sanctuary programme, and it main aim was to serve as a platform to raise awareness on issues facing refugees and asylum seekers. Read more...
Photo credit: Maurice Gunning,Irish World Academy of Music & Dance, University of Limerick. (

Athlone: In May, Athlone IT celebrated their first group of graduates from the Refugee Online Education programme (ROLE). All of the graduates are residents of the direct provision centre in Athlone and completed various MOOCs (online courses) in their personal areas of interest. If any other group would be interested creating a similar ROLE programme in their area, AIT will gladly give all relevant documentation over to get them going. Find out more...
Prof. Ciarán O’Catháin, president of AIT, presented certificates to graduates from the Refugee Online Education.
Dundalk: On May 24th, the DKIT College of Sanctuary Working Group had its inaugural meeting. We'd like to congratulate DKIT for starting its journey to become another college of sanctuary. Students in DKIT have being developing an app for asylum seekers in Ireland - Tosú Nua, which has been recommended 1st Place for competition and entry to SPARK National Social Enterprise Awards. We wish them a huge success in the competition, and looking forward to see the app become a useful tool for asylum seekers in Ireland. You can watch a short video about Tosú Nua here.

DCU's University of Sanctuary Undergraduate Full-time Scholarship is now open for application. Closing date for completion of the application is 5pm, July 1st, 2018. To access the application form, click here...

Trinity College Dublin Participation Advisory Group (PAG) also had its inaugural meeting.The role of the PAG, is to advise the University’s Engagement Advisory Group on shaping Trinity’s educational response to asylum seekers and refugees. A key aim is that Trinity would join other Irish colleges by becoming a University of Sanctuary. Read more here...

The UCD Welcomes Refugees network  joined in over 60 women from Monaghan, Sligo, Killarney, Athlone and Dublin with the Irish Refugee Council and participate in the VHI Women’s Mini Marathon on June 3. The group consisted of women currently living in Direct Provision, refugees, IRC members, staff from Gibney Communications, the UCD and members of the public. Their aimed to raise awareness about the difficulties of education access for people in the asylum process and to raise funds for the Irish Refugee Council Education Fund. Find out more here..

Schools of Sanctuary: An Update
The Education Authority Northern Ireland (EANI) are working towards the creation of Schools of Sanctuary in Northern Ireland. At least 10 schools across Belfast and more in other parts of Northern Ireland are working towards becoming schools of sanctuary in 2018. The EANI have trained 7 monitors to assess schools and assist in their process of applying for the sanctuary award.  These Schools of Sanctuary work around the principles of learn, action and share which have been outlined in the resource pack created by the EANI. To access this resource pack, click here

Places of Sanctuary Ireland has resources including a little funding to support schools wishing to become Schools of Sanctuary during the academic year (2018-2019) which begins in September. If you know a school that is interested please contact Tiffy or Aakanksha (email addresses below). We are pleased that some of our universities of sanctuary such as DCU are also investigating ways to support this program. 
Sanctuary in Politics goes national
The third year of Sanctuary in Politics took place in the School of Ecumenics, Trinity College Dublin this sprill. Over 30 new students of 20 nationalities from the 4 corners of Ireland travelled to Dublin and 10 local and migrant mentors and volunteers helped out.. The Sanctuary in Politics course covered how to deal with media which included developing public speaking skills, writing a speech, advocacy campaigning skills, voting rights and basic knowledge of the parliament and Irish government. The sessions included guest speakers such as journalists, radio jockeys, staff members of NGOs and the CEO of the Scottish Refugee Council. At the end, students received certificates from the Dublin Mayor. A Sanctuary in Politics handbook has been developed as a result of the last three years of this course. The handbook can help local groups who are interested in replicating this course. To access the handbook, click here.
Monaghan: County of Sanctuary program
Monaghan County of Sanctuary program has recently been involved with a number of events throughout the county including; felt making classes, intercultural children’s’ events, coffee mornings, bowling events, jive dancing and art workshops.
Upcoming events include World Refugee Day celebration at St. Patrick's Accommodation Centre on June 20th.

Staff News
We are sorry to have to tell you that our colleague and friend Sara has unfortunately become unwell and will need to be off work for several months. We are sure you'll want to join us in wishing her the very best for a complete and speedy recovery. We will keep you updated but meanwhile could you please avoid including Sara in emails as she will not be able to respond. Meanwhile we are very pleased to welcome Aakanksha Doshi, a Masters student from Irish School of Ecumenics, to our team as a volunteer.

Main contact emails: 
Tiffy Allen -
Tian Yu Lloyd - 
Philip Berman (Chairperson of Places of Sanctuary Ireland) -
Aakanksha Doshi -

For general inquiries please email:

Please feel free to forward this newsletter to anyone who may be interested in our work. 

We would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone celebrating - Eid Mubarak! We would also like to wish everyone a joyous World Refugee Day (20th June). For refugee day and refugee week events, look out on the website of your local refugee support organisation. Your email has been gathered at Places of Sanctuary events throughout the last year. If you do not want to continue to receive newsletters from us please click the unsubscribe below. Alternatively, email to get in touch.
Copyright © 2017 Places of Sanctuary Ireland, All rights reserved.

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