A newly established group in Moville is planning a public event this weekend to highlight the human stories behind asylum seekers’ experiences.
Fáilte Inishowen was set-up to provide a welcoming committee and support and solidarity for the 100 people who will be staying at a Direct Provision centre in Caiseal Mara Hotel in Moville.
The group has announced the first event in its campaign to ensure that all of the asylum seekers arriving in the coming weeks are ‘warmly welcomed and strongly supported in settling into this vibrant community by the sea.’
The event will be a public information meeting with a panel of experts and campaigners including representatives from health, education and social agencies in the area.
The meeting takes place at the Methodist Hall, Main Street, Moville, from 3pm on Sunday November 25.
Some invited speakers have come through Direct Provision and will speak how best local people might show solidarity and friendship to those who are arriving.
Artist and researcher Vukasin Nedeljkovic from Serbia, South African activist Lucky Khambule, and Caroline Radcliffe from Moville, who has worked with asylum seekers locally in the past, are among the guest speakers.
Tracy Cullen Sheehan of Fáilte Inishowen said: “I welcome this gathering and hope it will address some of the issues and concerns identified at the recent Public Information Session.
“I hope it will work two fold in that it will educate all of us and create a link between the Community and the families and individuals in Direct Provision.
“We can also take inspiration from the compassion and practical support shown to recent arrivals in different parts of Inishowen, improving often dire circumstances immeasurably. I am particularly looking forward to hearing the human story behind the system.”
Siobhán Shiels of Inishowen Welcomes and Inishowen Together said: “I’m very proud to join forces with Fáilte Inishowen in order to rise to the challenges ahead with compassion and understanding for everyone affected by Direct Provision and the community they will be joining.
“I am bowled over by the generosity already shown by the people of Inishowen and am confident that we can create a thriving multicultural community.”