Celebration of World Refugee Day 2012--- Restoring Hope

Sister Bridget from the Ballybrack community is involved with refugees through volunteering with the Dun Laoghaire Refugee Project, offering support and follow-up to individuals and families. There is a lot of networking involved as people from other countries find their place in Ireland.

Bridget shares this account of the celebration of World Refugee Day written by Susan King of Southside Partnership:

On the evening of Monday, 18th June, over 120 people arrived to the Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art Design and Technology to celebrate the positive contributions of asylum seekers and refugees in our County as part of our annual World Refugee Day Celebrations. 
This celebration celebrated the lives of many unaccompanied minors, who arrived in Ireland (without a parent or guardian), many of whom received intensive support and guidance from the voluntary group – Dún Laoghaire Refugee Project (DRP). The theme of this year’s celebration was RESTORING HOPE, reminding us that while a refugee’s journey often begins with danger, it also begins with hope, and for over 10 years, the DRP has provided education supports, legal advice and mentorship to hundreds of unaccompanied minors. 
Pedro Angulo took on the role as host of the ‘Early Early Show’. He interviewed 6 young people from Iraq, Somalia, Nigeria and Zimbabwe, two filmmakers, an actor, an inventor, a radio DJ and a community activist. Their experience of starting a new life in Ireland was explored and despite difficulties each story proved that determination and strength can lead to realising your dreams.
This event, organised by the Dún Laoghaire Refugee Project, Dún Laoghaire IADT, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council’s Social Inclusion Unit and Southside Partnership DLR, has become a regular annual meeting place for many people living in all parts of Ireland and the atmosphere was one of great positivity and hope for the future.
The different speakers highlighted the need for groups, organisations and agencies to continue to work together in these frugal times to ensure the needs of the most vulnerable are being met.
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