How have we supported ethnic minorities so far?
We believe in an Ireland where everyone feels they belong. An Ireland where people are equal and communities thrive. With 12% of our population from ethic and racial minorities, a thriving Ireland is a multicultural one. You see change has already happened and will be lasting. Many from ethnic minorities are native Irish, many more are Irish citizens. We want an Ireland where they are at home and where there is no 'them', only us.
We have supported advancing ethnic minorities for years and have funded significant work for refugees. One great example is when two of our donors decided to co-fund the Child Refugee Development Project, which was developed by the Children’s Rights Alliance. This strategic project aims to end direct provision as we know it for the 1,400 children currently in direct provision centres in Ireland.
Significant support has been provided to charities including the Irish Refugee Council, Migrant Rights Centre and Akidwa. The Immigrant Council of Ireland has received funding to look at the refugee crisis and explore a joined-up solution to tackle the issue nationally, but also look at sharing best practice in Europe where it is desperately needed.
A much-overlooked minority in Ireland is Travellers. We have provided dedicated funding to conduct research examining Traveller health and inequalities and have funded organisations including the Irish Traveller Movement and National Traveller Women’s Forum.
"The Ark was delighted to receive funding from The Community Foundation for Ireland. Funding enables us to travel to Direct Provision Centres to deliver drama workshops to children. The workshops allow children to express themselves creatively through fun and interactive drama workshops. After the children experience workshops at their centre they are facilitated in attending cultural events at The Ark. Being able to visit has had a huge impact for these children and their families. One father commented 'money cannot buy you this, this is special!"
Ethnic Minorities in Ireland
It can be argued that Ireland has a more positive attitude to ethnic minorities compared to other European countries. The lack of mobilised right-wing, anti-migrant sentiment is in stark contrast with some European neighbours. However, we must not be complacent. As demands for affordable housing continues to rise and pressures on services increase, we must ensure that Ireland remains welcoming.
A minority who still face huge challenges is the Traveller community. Travellers were formally recognised as a distinct ethnic group in 2017 and there are stark statistics when it comes to equality:
- The suicide rate for Traveller men was seven times that of the rate for men generally.
- The infant mortality rate for Travellers is 3.6 times the rate of the general population.
- Travellers are much less likely to have completed education to Leaving Certificate level than the national average.
How you can help
For Ireland to thrive, all our citizens must thrive together. From our work with organisations on the front line, we know some key areas need support including:
- Progress on immigrant processing as many homeless are unregistered immigrants or EU nationals falling out of social nets.
- Services that help Travellers both in terms of policy and front-line services especially in areas of education and health.