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Irish Refugee Council Education Fund

For people in the asylum process there are very limited opportunities to further or progress their education beyond secondary school level. The biggest barrier people face in accessing education is financial. At present, people likely to spend long periods of time in state reception centres, on very limited means, due to delays in the system.

This fund was established in 2015 with support from the Community Foundation for Ireland to financially assist people in the asylum process in accessing further education. Since then, through very generous donations from the public and the private sector, the fund has continued to assist people in the asylum process with their educational needs, be it course fees, transportation costs or course materials.

Since it was established the Fund has supported over 100 people in the asylum process onto further education and thankfully we have been able to support more people each year. Both the IRC and the people who have been supported are massively grateful to everyone who has made this possible.

Education plays a vital role in people’s development, self esteem and integration, if you want to find out more or would like to organise a fundraiser for this fund, please contact Charlotte at [email protected] or to make a direct donation hit the Donate button above or, alternatively, you can make a donation or set up a standing order to the Education Fun bank account: BIC: AIBKIE2D | IBAN: IE69AIBK93338449657479

The Irish Refugee Council (IRC) is Ireland’s only national non-governmental organisation which specialises in working with and for refugees in Ireland.

The main focus of our work is with people in the asylum system who are applying to be recognised as refugees.  For almost 20 years, we have observed the changes that have been made in response to the arrival of refugees in Ireland.  Based on extensive experience working directly with those affected, we have seen the huge financial cost of a failed system and the untold damage that has and is being done to men, women and children in the asylum process.

Our Vision

‘A just, fair and inclusive Irish society for people seeking protection’

The Irish Refugee Council believes, in accordance with the 1951 Convention relating to the status of refugees, that every person has the right to claim asylum and to have their application considered in a fair and transparent manner.

Our Mission

‘To promote and enhance the lives of refugees in Ireland’

The IRC’s priorities are delivering high quality support and advice to people in the asylum process; supporting and protecting children and young people; public and political awareness raising; and capacity building among key players in the asylum system in order to bring about change to practice and policy.

The IRC has its origins in a conference which took place in Dublin in 1988 entitled Refugees in Crisis. Organised by Aidlink, an overseas development agency, the conference was attended by more than 120 participants drawn mainly from religious orders and from development agencies working overseas. The conference concluded by setting up a working group to generate a plan of action, which would include increased public awareness, more coordination among agencies and possibly the establishment of a new network or organisation to facilitate better support and services to refugees.

After several meetings, it was decided to begin the work of setting up an Irish Refugee Council, intended as an ‘umbrella group’ for existing NGOs and agencies, and with a brief covering refugee and asylum work both at home and abroad. The group ‘went public’ with its plans at a meeting in 1989 with the Irish government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and other interested parties such as the government-sponsored Refugee Resettlement Committee (supporting Programme Refugees) and the Irish Red Cross (running a small refugee hostel in Dublin). This meeting focused largely on the situation of refugees and asylum seekers in Ireland, and was also attended by representatives of the Refugee Advisory Service (a group of independent asylum lawyers set up in consultation with UNHCR), of Amnesty International’s Irish Section, which had been a crucial contact point for asylum seekers arriving in Ireland, and of the Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement.

In 1992 the IRC was formally registered as a limited company and subsequently obtained charitable status. Although Ireland signed the Refugee Convention in 1956, the country had no system for those who sought international protection here. The first legislative framework was set out in the Refugee Act 1996 (implemented in 2000).

The IRC continue to work for and with men, women and children in need of international protection. We wish to thank those that have worked so hard to bring us to this day. Thank you for your wisdom, strength, integrity and your financial support! We will strive to continue to work towards an Ireland that provides a welcome and a home for those who are displaced from their own countries.

All money donated to this Fund is used to support people in the asylum process in accessing further education.


Contact Details

37 Killarney Street, Dublin 1, Dublin, IRELAND

Cause Registration

Revenue (Charities Unit) (CHY): 10153

Charities Regulatory Authority (CRA) : 20025724

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