Integration is a responsibility of all Government Departments and public bodies in their appropriate sphere but the Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration has a role in leading and coordinating work in the area.
This Office implements the Government commitment in relation to migrant integration on an ongoing basis mainly through financial assistance to projects promoting integration of immigrants and combatting racism.
Summary of our work in 2013:
- Funding from national sources to promote integration e.g. for the provision of conversational English language classes for immigrants, for integration through sports, volunteering and so on
- Funding to combat racism through work in schools, sporting organisations etc
- Providing for support of labour market integration of vulnerable immigrants with co-financing from the European Social Fund
- Administering the European Refugee and Integration Funds and preparing for the new Asylum and Migration Fund
- Monitoring of racist incidents
- Resettlement integration activities
- Provision of integration related material via the OPMI Website and circulation lists
- Ongoing liaison with NGOs
- Ongoing linkage with other Departments/Public bodies
- The coordination of Ireland’s international reporting requirements relating to racism and integration.
Resettlement ProgrammeIreland is one of 16 EU countries and 26 countries internationally involved in Resettlement. The Office works with the UNHCR and the International Organisation for Migration alongside Consular Services, Irish Aid and the Department of Foreign Affairs in making arrangements to admit programme refugees to Ireland. Once the families arrive in Ireland, the resettlement team works with a range of Government Departments and other public service organisations, including local authorities and non governmental organisations to manage the successful resettlement of individuals and families.
Irish Resettlement Programme 2013
Resettlement of refugees from Syria in 2013During 2013, 35 persons were admitted into Ireland from Syria. This included
- one medical case – a family of four of Iraqi Palestinian origin who arrived in July 2013 and have been resettled in Cork.
- 31 Afghan refugees (2 single males and 8 families) arrived in Ireland on 7 November 2013 from Damascus, Syria. The group is currently resident in direct provision accommodation while participating in a language and orientation programme provided by the Education and Training Board (ETB) (formerly VEC) in cooperation with the Resettlement Staff from the OPMI. This group of 31 Afghan refugees was admitted under an EU funded Preparatory Action for Emergency Resettlement.
Other resettlements in 2013
- 24 refugees, originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo arrived in Ireland on 16/17 December 2013 for permanent resettlement from refugee camps in Tanzania where they had lived for more than 15 years. This group will participate in an orientation programme early in 2014 before being permanently resettled in the community.
- 3 other medical cases, whose medical needs could not be met except through resettlement, also arrived in Ireland during the year. One family has been resettled in Sligo where they are receiving medical treatment and are settling into the local community. Accommodation for two other medical cases, currently in Balseskin reception centre, is being sought in the greater Dublin area.
- Ireland also relocated* 10 Somalis under international protection from Malta in July 2013 . They are settling in well in Arklow, Co. Wicklow where they joined three other Somali families relocated from Malta in 2012.
You can find more information about our work on the resettlement of programme refugees in Ireland in this section of the integration website.
Ireland relocated beneficiaries of international protection from Malta to Ireland between 2007 and 2013 as follows:
- 2007 - Eritrea (2), Ivory Coast (3), Sri Lanka (5)
- 2011- Ethiopia (9), Eritrea (1)
- 2012 - Somalia (10)
- 2013 - Somalia (10)
Figures for relocated refugees are included in the table showing the figures for Refugees Resettled between 2000 and 2013 on this page of our website. Figures for relocated refugees are highlighted in pink e.g.
In 2013, OPMI gave resettlement grants of €117,134 to partners in the receiving communities so that they could: -
- give practical assistance locally to refugees in accessing services,
- promote refugee participation in local activities,
- encourage local organisations to proactively welcome the new arrivals.
Sharing our resettlement experienceThe Resettlement team has been working with new emerging resettlement Member States over the past 6 years. Belgium, Japan and Bulgaria have visited Ireland to observe the Irish Resettlement model. One member of staff also participated in a series of workshops in Bulgaria in May and June 2013 designed to inform and prepare both the Government sector and the NGO sector in Bulgaria of resettlement issues as that country prepared to begin their first resettlement programme in 2013.
New NGO ForumIn April, 2013, OPMI established a new NGO forum. The Forum will meet regularly (perhaps twice to three times a year) to discuss integration issues and developments with key NGOs working in the immigrant integration area. Current members include AkiDwA, Crosscare, Doras Luimni, the Immigrant Council of Ireland, the Integration Centre, NASC, the New Communities Partnership and ENAR.
The NGO Forum met twice in regular session in 2013 – 10 April and 26 July. There were also 2 sessions on a particular theme: -
- Qualification Recognition: – Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) gave a presentation to the NGO Forum members on 16th October
- Exchange of views on racist crime: – presentations by NGOs on the subject, followed by a question and answer session with representatives of the Criminal Law Division of the Department of Justice and Equality and the Garda Racial, Intercultural and Diversity Office.
Meetings with stakeholders and other events AttendedDetails of the events, launches, conferences attended by OPMI staff in 2013 are available here. .
Website(i) Development of new section on migrant representation
A new section of OPMI website has been developed with input from key NGOs to show migrant representation on national, regional and local bodies, committees etc. It is a work in progress and will continue to be developed as and when further information becomes available. The Migrant Representation section of our website can be accessed here :
(ii) Migrants in the Media section OPMI continues to develop its migrants in the media section which is a repository of links to newspaper, television and radio stories about migrants living in Ireland, (http://www.integration.ie/website/omi/omiwebv6.nsf/page/managingdiversity-migrantsinthemedia-en)
OPMI’S FUNDING POLICYDetails of our funding policy are available here -
A full list of beneficiaries of our funding is available here
Administration of domestic funding in 2013In 2013, OPMI paid the following grants:
|Business in the Community||€457,372|
|Third Age Foundation (Fßilte Isteach conversational English classes)||€126,420|
|Fingal County Council||€69,000|
|South Dublin County Council||€65,760|
|Localise (encouraging volunteering among young people)||€65,000|
|Meath County Council||€60,000|
|Show Racism the Red Card (anti-racism competition in schools)||€36,000|
|Resettlement of Programme Refugees (grants to bodies in host communities)||€117,134|
|Holocaust Education Trust Ireland (Holocaust Memorial Day)||€50,000|
|New Communities Partnership Citizenship Application Support Service||€91,000|
|HSE Community Games||€35,000|
|UNHCR (transport for refugees etc. travelling to an intercultural event)||€2,000|
|Sport Against Racism Ireland (similar to previous item)||€4,300|
Monitoring of Racist IncidentsThe Office continues to monitor trends in racist incidents in consultation with An Garda SÝochßna, the Central Statistics Office and other relevant bodies including NGOs. Statistics on racist incidents and information on where to go to report a racist incident continues to be made available via quicklinks on the Home page of the Office website (www.integration.ie). We also make available media reports about convictions for racially motivated offences. These are available here.
Message to staff to mark International Day against Racism and International Migrants Day.
To mark International Day against Racism 2013 on 21 March 2013, a message was sent to all staff in the Department of Justice and Equality and the Department of Social Protection and and also across the network of Personnel Officers in the Civil Service. The message can be accessed here. A notice was also circulated to staff in the Department of Justice and Equality to mark International Migrants day on 18 December 2013. The Department of Social Protection issued a similar note to its staff. Attached at the end of the notice was a document advising staff on dealing sensitively with customers from culturally diverse backgrounds.
OPMI provided €96,000 in funding to the annual Show Racism the Red Card Creative Competition for Schools and Youth Services between 2009 and 2012.
Show Racism the Red Card organises this competition which reaches into all schools in Ireland. It is covered in the teaching union magazines, in the Irish Times Education pages, on RTE Children's TV and in other print and broadcast media. Sporting organisations and their players' associations are also fully involved. Events are held around the country to launch the call for entries.
The awards ceremony in the Aviva Stadium always receives a high profile in the media with young people attending from all over Ireland. President Higgins presented the competition awards in 2012 and in 2013, it was Minister Shatter.
In 2013, OPMI provided funding of €36,000 to Show Racism the Red Card to ensure the competition continues to raise awareness of racism among young people in Ireland.
Holocaust Education Trust Ireland (HETI)HETI aims to educate people about the Holocaust in order to combat anti-Semitism and all forms of racism and intolerance in Ireland. Unchecked intolerance in Europe resulted in the atrocity of the Holocaust. HETI raises awareness of the horrors perpetrated during the Holocaust to prevent the evil growing again.
OPMI funds HETI to organise the Annual Holocaust Memorial Day as part of an annual programme which operates throughout the year. The event takes place each year on the Sunday nearest to 27 January – the date of the liberation of Auschwitz. In 2013, the event took place on Sunday 26 January. The Memorial Day feeds into the projects that involve Holocaust survivors speaking at schools, libraries and community centres. More than 5,000 senior school students and more than 2,000 members of the Irish public hear a survivor speak each year and each person takes home a Holocaust Memorial Day booklet. The Annual Memorial Event which takes place in the Mansion House each year is recorded on DVD, not only as an education resource but also as a record of all those who have participated in the programme. Some Holocaust survivors who spoke at previous commemorations have since died but their testimony is recorded and available to inform future generations.
FUNDING to HETI
Language Learning – Fßilte Isteach Programme Fßilte Isteach started as a community project and soon developed into a nationwide programme. Older people volunteer their time to teach conversational English to new migrants from all over the world. There are approximately 58 Fßilte Isteach branches throughout the country. Every week 580 volunteers teach more than 1,700 students from over 63 countries, collectively offering more than a thousand hours of tuition each week. It is a unique project which utilises the skills, talents and expertise of older volunteers and harnesses their desire to contribute positively to society. Fßilte Isteach works at breaking down the barriers that migrants and communities face by extending the hand of friendship and community goodwill through the practical, welcoming and inclusive manner in which the programme is delivered.
In 2013, Fßilte Isteach received the European Language Label (ELL) - formerly known as the European Award for Languages. The European Language Label awards scheme is coordinated by the European Commission. You can see information about the award here -
Between 2008 and 2012, OPMI provided nearly €485,000 in funding to Fßilte Isteach. In 2013, a grant of €126,420 was made.
Labour Market IntegrationOPMI and the European Social Fund (ESF) each provide 50% of the funding to the Employment of People from Immigrant Communities (EPIC) Programme. The Programme received funding of over €2,131,000 between 2008 and 2012. In 2013, funding of €457,372 was provided.
EPIC aims to assist both European Economic Area nationals and other immigrants who have the right to work in Ireland without a work permit to find employment and/or further training and education in Ireland. The programme includes training in English for work, interview skills, living and working in Ireland and IT.
Between 2007 and 2012, EPIC staff placed 1,088 people from immigrant communities in jobs, training/education or work placements. In that period, citizens from over 90 different countries, both EU and non EU, took part in EPIC training. There are 10 EPIC staff, representing 6 different nationalities.
Detailed information on the EPIC Programme is available on the webpage below -
http://www.integration.ie/website/omi/omiwebv6.nsf/page/funding-fundforintegration-esfEPIC-en You can see two immigrants who participated in EPIC training tell their stories at these links (information taken from ESF Newsletters): -
EPIC participant's story in 2012 ESF Newsletter
EPIC participant's story in 2011 ESF Newsletter
Support for FamiliesThe Home Start Family Support Scheme provides support to parents of young children who are experiencing difficulties. It has been shown that mothers of pre-school children can be the most socially isolated members of society and, for immigrant parents, this isolation is often increased by language and cultural barriers, lack of money and contacts and ignorance of available local resources. Home-Start volunteers use home visits and family mornings where parents get together to build parents' confidence and enlarge their social circle, thereby integrating them into the local community.
Parents who have been supported by Home-Start often progress into education, employment and becoming Home-Start volunteers themselves where their personal experience and language skills are invaluable. Between 2010 and 2012, OPMI provided funding of €108,000 towards:
1) supporting the work of
- the Home-Start National Office
- the North Fingal branch
- to provide information on their website in 6 additional languages and
- to design the recruitment and training of volunteers to ensure that they come from a range of backgrounds and have the experience and languages necessary to provide families with the greatest possible support.
LocaliseLocalise is a youth and community development organisation involved in community service work and volunteerism. Between 2009 and 2012, OPMI provided funding of €195,000 to the Localise Schools Programme which works with pupils in second level schools. The aim is to promote a sense of community and civic participation among the children taking part. The schools which participated are in a variety of locations where it is important to foster good relations between different communities. Across the school classes participating, foreign national students constitute 37%. Twenty one different nationalities are currently represented among participants on the Schools Programme.
One example of a Localise project is the Garden of Hope involving 50 students from Larkin Community College in Dublin 1. The students created a garden space for a Simon Homeless Shelter. The project was supported by the US Embassy with the ChargÚ d’Affaires directly mentoring the students alongside Diarmuid Gavin. Subsequently, teachers and pupils from the College were invited to accompany the US presidential family to a performance of Riverdance.
The Garden of Hope project won a Special Cities Award in the All-Island Pride of Place Awards in November 2013.
In 2013, OPMI provided a grant of €65,000 to Localise to continue the work that is being done in their integration programme.
Local AuthoritiesBetween 2008 and 2012, OPMI provided funding of €3,342,027 to Local Authorities for work on integration projects. In the main, Local Authorities now work with integration fora in the authority area to achieve integration.
Intercultural Fora funded OPMI through Local AuthoritiesIntercultural Fora present an opportunity for migrants from different cultures and backgrounds to come together to discuss their integration experiences. Participants can express their opinions and raise issues that affect migrants on a daily basis. Migrant forums aim to ensure the development of coherent local/regional plans and policies that reflect the social, cultural and economic needs of ethnic minority groups in the area.
Fingal County Council OPMI provided funding of €481,000 to Fingal County Council between 2008 and 2012 to support integration work in a variety of areas.
At this point, Fingal is achieving its integration aims through the Fingal Multi-agency Integration Project, which includes Fingal Ethnic Network (FEN). This is a network of ethnic minority groups and individuals living in the Fingal County Council area. It was established by the Fingal Community Office and the Fingal Development Board and launched in August 2008. Since then, it has grown to include over 40 groups representing many ethnicities who live and work in Fingal.
The network aims to represent the collective views of the ethnic community so that they can influence and inform policy and planning countywide and also influence the organisations that operate within Fingal County.
OPMI made a grant of €69,000 to Fingal in 2013 to continue the work of the Multi-agency Integration Project which in 2014 will include, in addition, a Family Support and Integration Project (provided by the Fingal Branch of Home Start), a Youth Integration Project, the Rush/Lusk/Skerries Integration Forum, and the Corduff Integration Forum.
South Dublin County CouncilOPMI provided funding of €421,240 to South Dublin County Council between 2008 and 2012. South Dublin County Council has done much of its integration work through the South Dublin Migrants Forum.
South Dublin Migrants Forum The Forum was formed by a number of migrant groups in the area in collaboration with South Dublin County Council, Dodder Valley Partnership and CPLN (Clondalkin, Palmerstown, Lucan and Newcastle) Partnership to provide an opportunity to members of the immigrant community in South County Dublin to collaborate, network and provide peer support on social inclusion and cultural diversity.
The mission of the South Dublin Migrant Integration Forum is to serve as a platform to help develop an inclusive, supportive, secure and intercultural community that is based on the principles of equality, diversity, healthy communication, social justice and mutual respect. With membership consisting of migrant community leaders and representatives in the area, the South Dublin Migrant Integration Forum also aims to disseminate information to migrant communities in South Dublin, provide a link between their communities and the local people, promote migrants' perspectives in policy matters within the County, provide a space where County officials can present topics of interest and inform migrant communities on developments in the County, among others. The South Dublin Migrant Integration Forum is also supported by the Dublin Employment Pact's
'Promoting Civic Participation of Third Country Nationals through Local Authority Platforms'.
In 2013, OPMI provided funding of €65,760 to South Dublin County Council to continue work in less advantaged areas in which there are significant numbers of immigrants and persons of immigrant origin. The two groups supported this year were
a) Clondalkin Intercultural Dialogue Group The intercultural group meets every two weeks in the Intercultural Centre in Clondalkin. The group has twenty four members and is actively involved in the new Global Garden in Corkagh Park.
The group members have developed strong bonds and socialise together regularly. In the past year, six of the group achieved Irish Citizenship and other members are preparing their applications. The group has explored issues of cultural practices, power, dialogue, and asset based community development. The group has also organised a number of social outings to further strengthen group cohesion.
Trˇcaire (an Irish third world aid charity) has supported the group to raise awareness on issues of Climate Justice. Additional funding has been secured from Trˇcaire to continue their project on raising awareness on the issues of Climate Justice.
The Global Garden will be a focal point for community development as well as for good gardening practice. The group have now developed their website Globalgarden.ie.
b) Tallaght Intercultural Drop-In CentreThis centre provides services to people living in Tallaght. There is an English language programme, a women’s group, a summer activities programme, and childcare services for participants in the drop-in centre activities.
Meath County CouncilBetween 2008 and 2012, OPMI provided €224,995 funding to Meath County Council to support Cult˙r - a community organisation that works with migrants promoting equal rights and opportunities to develop an intercultural County Meath. It aims to work with migrants on identifying their needs and interests so that they play a real part in the development of policy in the Meath area.
Cult˙r are involved in a range of activities such as:
- a drop in centre which answers queries from c. 300 persons a year;
- one to one outreach work;
- Meath Migrants Forum;
- Meath Intercultural Network (includes statutory bodies as well as migrant groups);
- Fßilte Isteach project in Navan;
- Women’s Group;
- Brazilian Women’s Group (associated with the meat factory in Clonee);
- Arts Group; and
- the STEP Programme (a follow on to the European Integration Fund STEP project which ran from 2010-2012 and was designed to meet the education and training needs of Third Country Nationals).
Integration through Sport
HSE Community GamesBetween 2009 and 2011, OPMI provided grant funding of €105,000 to HSE Community Games to promote activities such as: -
- intercultural and anti-racism awareness for staff;
- completion of the Community Games Integration and Inclusion Policy;
- development of multi-lingual brochures (12 languages) to promote the Games and encourage immigrants to participate;
- re-affiliation of lapsed areas mainly through the involvement of families from ethnic minorities e.g. Adamstown (South Dublin), Tyrrelstown, Celbridge and Bray;
- visible increase in participation by minorities in national finals;
- partnership with other bodies promoting integration including the GAA and FAI. Participated in the Sport Inclusion Network with the FAI with EU assistance.
At present, the HSE Community Games movement is working on promoting integration in the Kilkenny, Cork, Limerick and Galway areas. In Dublin, they are collaborating with the Local Sports Partnership network in creating links with migrant communities. They also provide training to county children’s and integration officers.
In addition, HSE Community Games
- are an integral part of a European project called MOVE that targets groups with socioeconomic challenges, including ethnic minorities and immigrants, in order to get them involved in physical activity;
- are involved in another European project entitled ACTIVE, which aims to set up a network of partnerships across Europe between municipal authorities and sports organisations.
Fair Play Football Cup to mark World Refugee DayOPMI gave a grant of €2,000 to UNHCR Ireland to celebrate World Refugee Day 2013 by hosting the fourth Fair Play Football Cup on Sunday, 16 June 2013 in co-operation with Sport against Racism Ireland (SARI).
The 7-a-side tournament, which was free to enter, featured teams drawn from refugee and community groups, direct provision centres, Government agencies and members of the media, with players from a host of different countries competing.
Sport Against Racism Ireland (SARI)OPMI provided a grant of €4,300 to Sport Against Racism Ireland (SARI) to support the SARI Soccerfest on 15th and 16th September. This is the largest intercultural soccer tournament in Ireland, with 46 teams from all over Ireland participating.
More than 4,000 spectators came to the 2013 tournament. Participants are advised on how they might mainstream into other sports organisations and how to develop links with soccer clubs. A number of people from new communities started out at Soccerfest and now play for FAI league clubs and the Irish youth team.
Soccerfest provides an environment in which people from a diverse range of backgrounds and cultures can come together to compete. The tournament demonstrates the diversity of Ireland’s population and thereby reflects one of the most notable features of international sport today.
Advice on Citizenship ApplicationsBetween 2011 and 2012, OPMI provided funding of more than €133,000 to the New Communities Partnership (NCP) to run a Citizenship Application Support Service (CASS). This is a free support and information service to immigrants applying for naturalisation. Callers can ring a National Helpline or call to Drop in Clinics in Dublin City and County, Dun Laoghaire, Cork and Limerick. Callers speak to a trained experienced advisor who helps to explain exactly what documentation is needed for a successful application etc.
In 2013, OPMI gave a grant of €91,000 to the New Communities Partnership to continue the CASS service.
European FundsThe Office also administers the European Refugee Fund (ERF) and the European Integration Fund (EIF).
- Details of the projects supported under the EIF Programme since 2008 can be found on this page of our website: -
- Details of the projects supported under the ERF Programme since 2008 can be found on this page of our website: -
- A list of projects selected for funding by EIF and ERF in 2013 can be found at this page of our website.
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