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News from around the Network
September Edition
Welcome to our September newsletter,  packed with news, development, opportunities and ideas for action from across the network of Places of Sanctuary Ireland and beyond.

This is our Autumn 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.

Local group coordinators: Please feel free to forward this newsletter to your local network.


Upcoming Events News from around the network
 Culture nights in Galway and Portlaoise on 21st September              

Come and celebrate culture nights on 21st September in Galway and Portlaoise.
Galway event: Enjoy music and refreshments on Culture Night, Community of Sanctuary:Inviting Galway communities to imagine a Community of Sanctuary by 2020 on 21st September 7:30pm-9:30pm at the Harbour Hotel, Galway City. 
Portlaoise event: .After the successful Eid celebration in Portlaoise, the Laois integration network invite you to an intercultural exchange in Portlaoise. (See Poster)
Stories of Welcome Media Competition (UK & Ire)

We are inviting and encouraging groups who are registered with Places of Sanctuary Ireland to submit entries to our network's newly launched Stories of Welcome Media Competition. Three winning entries will be included in the book, “Stories of Sanctuary”. More details available here.
Schools of Sanctuary: An Update
There are hundreds of schools across the network whose lives have been transformed by the School of Sanctuary programme. We are proud that the numbers in Belfast and elsewhere are growing.

Engaging with the Schools of Sanctuary is just one of the areas which keep the vibrant Belfast group busy. They have found time to inspect more schools to become recognised as Schools of Sanctuary, making in all 13 schools in Belfast with the potential for another 20 over the next school year. On the 20th September, from 9:30 pm until 1:30 pm, they will be holding an event with the Education Authority and the Executive Office to recognise the achievement of these Schools of Sanctuary. If you wish to attend please contact To see the updated list of the Schools of Sanctuary from around the network click here. 
Web content updates: 

Widden Primary School, a School of Sanctuary in Gloucester (Video: UNHCR)
The School of Sanctuary website was updated recently. Now users can easily find case studies, teaching resources, and schools' self-assessment tool, among other useful information.

Local groups are usually responsible in recognition of schools of sanctuary. If you wish to find out more, please feel free to get in touch with our new project coordinator Aakanksha Doshi via
Cork City of Sanctuary Movement includes all the stakeholders in the city which support or provide services to migrants or people of migrant origin and this includes many city agencies, organisations, community groups and particularly community representatives. The Cork City of Sanctuary Movement has developed a very inclusive and empowering model, where participation and involvement of new communities is key.  At the moment Cork City of Sanctuary Movement is putting together a plan of actions for 2018/2019. A Working Group and number of sub-groups, which are led by the different stakeholders, are leading these actions. The sub-groups are on Primary and Secondary Schools, Advocacy, Women, Further and Third Level Education, Arts and Culture, Research, Media and Communications, and others are emerging.  Actions include for example the development of a primary school resource pack for Schools of Sanctuary or advocacy support to Asylum Seekers and Refugees, or workshops and events, such as one on ‘Engaging Migrants in Politics’.

Sowing the seeds of Sanctuary in Politics!
The Sanctuary in Politics this year was one of the most successful ones we have ever seen. It has inspired the Belfast and Galway sanctuary groups to organize Sanctuary in Politics in their cities. In England as well, two groups have decided to start a sanctuary in politics course.

City of Sanctuary Dublin is running a migrant voter registration and political engagement project in October and November. Irish citizens are invited to join in migrants interested in political participation, to go on streets and knock on doors to encourage migrants to register to vote and raise their concerns.
Portlaoise: An emerging city of sanctuary

Voice of Migrants which is a member of the Portlaoise City of Sanctuary group has made progress in its mission to promote positive mental health and bring about connections that would break the barriers of inclusion for migrants especially those who are still under the Direct Provision System. They have done different activities to bring the residents in the DP centre and the local community together such as; Garden to grow vegetables with the support from WEZESHA. Gardening has been proven to be good for physical and mental health which is good for the residents.

In addition, Portlaoise have planned an entire year of activities and events to promote the spirit of sanctuary.
 Refugee picnic in Belfast! 
This summer, City of Sanctuary Belfast held a well-attended Great Refugee Picnic in Ormeau Park Belfast during Refugee Week in partnership with Amnesty International. The sun shone for us, the Lord Mayor stayed for a long time and spoke to a wide range of people and we had wonderful African food and lots of other activities for children. To read more about it and see more photos, click here

City of Sanctuary Movement at the United Nations in Geneva
 We are pleased to inform you that City of Sanctuary, UK and Places of Sanctuary Ireland were represented by Tiffy Allen at the United Nations in July.

The visit included talking about the #WithRefugees Partnership – and explored ways a grassroot, volunteer-driven and far flung network like our own can meaningfully connect with UNHCR so that there are live links that will be mutually beneficial. For now, the practical action of cities and towns signing up to the simple Statement of Solidarity and joining the coalition of organisations committed to welcoming refugees seem like a good start.
You can read Tiffy’s personal report and experience here.
Bookings open for Sanctuary in Parliament
City of Sanctuary UK's annual Sanctuary in Parliament will be held on Monday November 12 from 12 to 4 this year in the Atlee Suite, Portcullis House. This year's key message is “Towards a Fairer System”, the template letter of invitation to politicians and further information can be found here.

If you are interested in attending, please click here to find out more.
Places of Sanctuary Team News
  • Many thanks to all who sent good wishes to Sara.We're pleased to tell you her treatment is going well and we look forward to having her back with us next year.
  • Meanwhile we are delighted to welcome Aakanksha Doshi to the team for the next few months. And many congratulations to Aakanksha on her recent marriage to Sidney, a teacher in a very successful School of Sanctuary in South West England.
  • Main contact emails: 
    Tiffy Allen -
    Tian Yu Lloyd - 
    Philip Berman (Chairperson of Places of Sanctuary Ireland) -
    Aakanksha Doshi -
Aakanksha Doshi              

For general inquiries please email:

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