Together we are stronger: the background to our video 

  • Date: 05/06/2024
  • Author: Emma Doyle

Here in ActionAid Ireland, we pride ourselves on one thing. We are led by the women we work with. Whether that is with women farmers in rural Kenya, women’s organisations in southern Nepal or women in international protection here in Ireland, who often experience poverty and marginalisation. 

The women we work with have been experiencing increasing racism, in line  the rise of anti-immigrant narrative in Ireland. By releasing this video we wanted to tell another story; a story of how Ireland is welcoming migrants and equally how migrants are positively contributing to many aspects of Ireland’s society.  

Participants of our Amplify Our Voices project – working with lone parents living in international protection

Inspired by the video released by the Department of Foreign Affairs for Saint Patrick’s Day 2024 – Celebrating Ireland’s Diaspora, this video is doing something similar: celebrating Ireland’s migrants.  As a country we recognise the welcoming support many countries have offered Irish people over the centuries. This video is a reminder of Ireland’s offer of Céad Mile Failte (one hundred thousand welcomes) to people from many different countries.   

Our work with migrants 

We mainly work globally with women and children living in poverty. We have been working with migrant women in Ireland experiencing poverty and marginalisation, since 2016. These women have often faced war, violence, GBV and discrimination. They came to Ireland seeking safety and international protection. We support them to tackle the injustices they face. The inadequacy of the direct provision system in Ireland has in fact compounded these injustices and jeopardised their safety.  

We have secured funds for the last eight years of this work through our valued donors-  Saint Stephen’s Green Trust, ReThink and Energy for Generations Fund.  

Over these eight years, we have focused on supporting migrant women on understanding relevant laws and policies in Ireland, identifying their issues and advocating for change so that their human rights are respected.   

Currently, supported by Saint Stephen’s Green Trust, we have a project that supports lone parents seeking international protection. Lone parents are particularly vulnerable to poverty and often socially isolated. They do not have opportunities to move out of emergency accommodation as they don’t have childcare so they can further their education or employment to afford rent. They are afraid to disrupt their children’s education and social development by moving schools too often, and cannot always lean on a strong support network.  

ActionAid Ireland is supporting them to organise, advocate for their human rights and hold the Irish government to account so they can improve their lives and their childrens.  

The Ireland we want 

We need an Ireland and a European Union that is inclusive, that focuses on people’s human rights and treats people with respect and dignity. According to the World Bank, global poverty is rising with an increase in 2022 of 23 million people living in extreme poverty since 2019. This is connected to the various crisis that the world is facing including conflict, climate change and economic instability, from which women are usually disproportionately affected. However, racism and anti-immigrant rhetoric is distracting us from focusing on these issues.  

For Ireland to flourish, we need everyone to flourish individually. This requires first and foremost that all policies are grounded in human rights; that all people have an adequate standard of living, including adequate shelter; that we have access to education and employment, that we can express ourselves freely and live without fear; that we can belong to a community and nation that cherishes us.  

This video is a tribute to migrants in Ireland. It is a tribute to those that are forced to flee their country. It is a song for an inclusive Ireland, free from racism, where everyone can live in dignity.  

What can you do? 

Share the video but more importantly, share the message of the video with those around you. Diversity enriches our society; love nurture our hearts; and human rights grounds us in a fairer and better world.  

Speak to your colleagues. Speak to your friends. Speak to your families. 

Migrants make Ireland a better place, celebrate them.

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