Teens tackle racism with the Irish Refugee Council

Posted On: 22 September 2011

Thursday, 21 April 2011:

A GROUP of 26 teenagers from Armagh and Dublin came together today (21/4/11) to talk about racism and multi-culturalism with the Irish Refugee Council.

The Irish Refugee Council challenged the teens to imagine what it is like to have only minutes to pack before fleeing home forever.   They also learned what life is like for asylum seekers in Ireland and about the difficulties asylum seekers face when arriving in a new culture. 

Sharon Waters, Communications Officer with the Irish Refugee Council, says: “It is important for young people to understand that migration and the movement of people is one of the most natural phenomena in the world.  People have been moving throughout the history of mankind, and migration adds to the richness and diversity of life.  There are many famous refugees like Einstein, Marlene Dietrich and Madeleine Albright, who have made enormous contributions to their adopted countries.”

 “Our aim is to help the young people to put themselves in the shoes of an asylum seeker: to imagine leaving all their friends, family, belongings and coming to a new country where they don’t understand the language or the customs.”

The group consisted of teenager from St. Michael’s Youth Project, Inchicore and PASS (Promoting Acceptance in Society through Sport) Community Leadership Programme delivered by the Good Relations department of Armagh City and District Council.  The two day programme was funded by Cooperation Ireland’s Civic Link initiative and aimed to build intra-community understanding and challenge attitudes towards sectarianism and racism.

The Irish Refugee Council is a non-governmental organization that advocates on behalf of asylum seekers and refugees.  If you would like further information or to organize a workshop for your school or community group contact the Council on info@irishrefugeecouncil.ie