The following are the personal views of Irish Refugee Council Education Fund participant Pride on the benefits of education for the people within the Direct Provision system:

Personal life experience within the Direct Provision has taught me that, over and above the well-known general benefits of education, there is an extra layer of virtues more essential than meets the eye. I am an asylum seeker living in a Direct Provision centre for over three years. Living in a system that isolates people and strips off their confidence, education is the only panacea for the depression, despair, desolation, and the inescapable realities caused by the system of Direct Provision.

For me personally education has become my escape cave where I find hope, meaningfulness and relevance; a place where I rediscover my confidence, my dignity, and my true self. Being in class makes me feel alive and relevant. Not only this, but also, in a system that has infected people with dependency syndrome, education is the only thing that brings self-dependency and a decent life.

I believe I speak for the many when I say that education plays an important role in the transmission of national culture and breaking language barriers. It is the only means through which new arrivals like me and many from different backgrounds and cultures can truly learn and integrate with the Irish culture and in so doing prepare ourselves to be purposeful citizens with civic responsibilities.

It is from this background that I wish to make known that all those whose efforts are directed in helping to educate asylum seekers and refugees, know that they are doing more than helping provide a better platform of life, but are saving drowning lives from the Direct Provision System.

- Pride
To find out more about how you can support people in the asylum process to access further education please contact our Education Officer, Charlotte Byrne

Email Charlotte