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24/09/2021

Programme for refugee activists in Kildare

Community

Programme for refugee activists in Kildare

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The Immigrant Council of Ireland is launching its 2021 Migrant Leadership Academy this week and is inviting migrant and refugee activists from Kildare to take part in the online programme which brings together social justice and equality champions to enhance their leadership skills and design initiatives to benefit their local communities.

This is the Immigrant Council’s third Leadership Academy, which aims to address the lack of migrant representation in Ireland’s social justice sector and build the capacities of future migrant community leaders. Running for nine weeks from September to November, the academy will be a blended learning experience consisting of weekly online classes, pre-recorded video sessions and home exercises.

The programme will upskill participants in subjects including community organising, political mobilisation, campaigning and more. The academy is open to migrants and refugees (including those currently applying for international protection) who are 18 years of age or older and come from a non-EU/EEA background. The programme is particularly suited to existing activists committed to social justice and equality who are active in their communities and already have established local networks.

Speaking about the launch of the academy, Immigrant Council of Ireland integration manager Teresa Buczkowska said: “Ireland is an increasingly diverse society, with one in eight of us coming from a migrant background. The reality, however, is that many migrants don’t see themselves represented in many key sectors of Irish society, including the social justice sector.

“Many migrants and refugees are doing great work in their local communities championing issues and effecting positive change, but their hard work is often overlooked. Many are isolated and lack support from their peers and opportunities to fine-tune their skills to become better leaders and organisers.

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“The Migrant Leadership Academy strives to identify talented migrant and refugee leaders and provide them with the space to connect with one another. The academy will also help migrant leaders design and implement their own social justice campaigns and migrant integration initiatives.

“Previous Leadership Academy initiatives saw improvement of employment laws concerning spouses of migrant workers (Stamp 3 holders), as well as raising awareness on issues affecting migrant women victimised by domestic violence (the #WeAreHereToo Campaign).”

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