Fórsa is asking union branches and members to get involved in a fresh approach to resettling refugee families in communities across Ireland. The union is backing a new ‘community sponsorship’ initiative, which helps local communities to take responsibility for giving financial and other supports to refugee families from war-torn areas.
Community Sponsorship Ireland brings together a number of organisations including the Irish Red Cross, the Refugee Council, the UN Refugee Agency, Amnesty International, University College Dublin and the migrant and refugee centre NASC. Fórsa is now a member of its advisory board.
The union is seeking expressions of interest from branches and individual members who are interested in getting involved in the initiative. Its campaigns director Joe O’Connor hopes that a number of members, and at least one branch, will be willing to take part in a pilot phase by the end of this year.
Community sponsorship is an alternative to the traditional state-centred model of refugee placement. Its community-based approach helps refugee families to access social and professional networks in their new host communities, and introduces them to local state services, amenities, education and language resources.
Joe said the partnership offered a positive opportunity to make a lasting difference to people’s lives.
“Fórsa’s presence in communities across the country, our links with other organisations, and the breadth of knowledge, skills and occupations within our membership makes us a perfect organisation to make a contribution to the success of community sponsorship in Ireland,” he said.
For more information on Fórsa’s partnership, or to express an interest in getting involved, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Get more information on the programme HERE.