World Refugee Day

World Refugee Day

Posted on June 21, 2017

To celebrate World Refugee Week, The Community Foundation for Ireland would like to highlight some of the great work we have been able to support recently both through our own grant making and through our donor advised funds. Working with marginalised groups, including refugees has always been a strong focus for The Community Foundation and its donors since we opened our doors in 2000. Focussing on social change and supporting those most at risk is core to our grant making objectives.

Last year, we launched our #Belonging16 Refugee category, providing a total of €85,000 to 14 organisations through grants of up to €7,500 to carry out projects that increase or create a sense of belonging for refugees in Ireland. To read more about some of these projects, see here.

In this year’s Social Change Grants Scheme we have a dedicated category for Leadership for Ethnic Minority Groups as well as a category for LGBT+ people who are Migrants. The Leadership for Ethnic Minorities category made grants of up to €7,500 available for projects working towards building leadership skills in local Ethnic Minority community groups, for example through capacity building, leadership training or strategic planning. The LGBT+ people who are Migrants category made grants of up to €10,000 available for projects working towards the promotion of inclusion for LGBT+ people who are Migrants. The ultimate aim of this grants scheme is to address the unique issues for these persons, raise awareness and find innovative social solutions to these issues.

This week we are delighted to announce that a total of €125,000 will be granted the 20 successful applicants for these categories. Again, we were delighted to see that the calibre of applications to this scheme was extremely high and we are already looking forward to seeing the outcomes of these great projects.

As well as working to impact social change through our open grant rounds, The Community Foundation for Ireland often respond to more immediate or specialised needs through our Impact Grants. These grants support strategic initiatives which aim to achieve systemic change in key social issues. One example of this is The Immigrant Council of Ireland (ICI), who received an impact grant of €10,000 to host a major conference entitled “A Call to Action and Unity: Forming Ireland’s response to the Refugee and Migration Crisis”. The aim of the conference was to consider the current refugee and migration crisis and seek to inform a humanitarian response, both nationally and at an EU level.  An overarching theme of the conference was the need for innovative responses to the current crisis which involve close cooperation and collaboration between state actors, non-governmental agencies and communities.

We are lucky to have some very generous, strategic and engaged donors within The Community Foundation for Ireland and helping address the migrant crisis in Ireland has been at the top of many donors’ priority lists, especially in recent years. One example of strategic donor grant making was when two anonymous donors with funds at The Community Foundation for Ireland decided to co-fund the Child Refugee Development Project, which was developed by the Children’s Rights Alliance. The project aims to end direct provision as we know it for the 1,400 children currently in direct provision centres in Ireland. This will be achieved by creating a two-year post involving a highly qualified advocacy officer that will co-ordinate and run a series of campaign activities within the Children’s Rights Alliance.

For more information on the Child Refugee Development Project see here.

Another donor advised fund that has made significant impact for refugees and migrants on a global level is 2017 Corporate Philanthropist of the Year winner, SAP.

SAP who has worked with The Community Foundation since 2008 is leading Refugee Code Week, a follow on programme from Africa Code Week. Refugee Code Week is on a mission to help young people and their entire families to cope with their current challenges and build for the future. By setting up and multiplying coding curriculums for young people (aged 8 – 24 years) predominantly inside refugee camps, Refugee Code Week offers tangible and job relevant education for 10,000 refugees in 2016. Refugee Code Week is building on the best practices of Africa Code Week, the largest digital literacy initiative ever organised on the African continent. In 2015, this historic initiative allowed 89,000 young Africans across 17 countries to either write their first lines of code or touch a computer for the first time. Refugee Code Week shows incredible foresight from SAP to meet the long-term needs of refugees worldwide and highlights how philanthropy can be used as a tool to foster the next generation. For more information on Refugee Code Week visit the website here.

With Ireland’s commitment to welcome 4,000 refugees, we now look to the future and to how The Community Foundation for Ireland and our donors can play a role in making a real difference through our grant making. With the phenomenal response we‘ve seen from our donors so far, we know that through engaged philanthropists and The Community Foundation for Ireland’s leadership, we can make a difference. To see more examples of our donor advised funds or to find out how to set up a donor advised fund click here.