The Jesuit Refugee Service has opened a new multi-purpose resource centre designed to create a safe space to support asylum seekers in adapting to their new surroundings in Ireland.
Seomra Fáilte was opened in the Balseskin Reception Centre in Dublin in July and offers a range of activities to newly arrived refugees and long-term residents in Balseskin to promote their mental health and well-being, ranging from a yoga class to a befriending service and volunteering opportunities. A tranquility garden has been installed and a community garden is also planned.
David Moriarty, Assistant Director of JRS Ireland said the pilot project will also facilitate residents “to run their own projects, which so far has included teaching Arabic and self-defence classes”, to allow residents to share their skillsets.
“It is about providing the right information and right tools to enable them to adapt to living in direct provision and hopefully integrate into society as and when that will happen,” he said.
“We are providing information packs to show them what to expect in Ireland, both from the asylum process itself and also beyond that, the culture of Ireland, so that they don’t feel as isolated when they move on to other direct provision centres.
“We want to give them that initial grounding and a little bit of security, which will help them to be more resilient as they go through the system and deal with all the challenges that lie ahead of them.”