Cork Migrant Centre – COVID19 Initiatives

Sanctuary Mask Initiative

Cork Migrant Centre, managed by Dr Naomi Masheti, have been busy since lockdown began, making sure the most vulnerable in the community are being looked after. Last week, the Sanctuary Mask Initiative (SMI) began with the aim to empower skilled seamstresses to sew hygiene masks for people living in Direct Provision Centres and other vulnerable populations in the community, including the elderly in nursing homes.

The production of the masks is coordinated by Olga Voytenko, a seamstress and resident of Kinsale Rd Accommodation Centre. She is being assisted by other women who are skilled seamstresses and given a wage for their labour. The SMI is designed to harness the strengths of people living within the Direct Provision system, recognising their agency in responding to the COVID-19 crisis.

The masks are being delivered across Cork with the help of Naomi Masheti, Siobhan Allen (Nano Nagle Place, Ministry manager) and other Cork Migrant Centre volunteers. With each delivery is an information in a variety of languages, contain information about the proper use of masks along with guidelines from the HSE and the World Health Organisation.

The initiative is supported by Cork Migrant Centre, Better Together, Nano Nagle Place, UCC University of Sanctuary, UCC Feminist Society and Failte Refugees Societies. To find out more information or donate to the SMI, follow the link here or email sanctuarymaskinitiative@gmail.com

Laptops for Lockdown

At the Cork Migrant Centre Youth Initiative, we nurture the resilience of young teenagers living in or just transitioned from Direct Provision centres in Cork. We provide free maths grids, homework clubs and visual and performing arts workshops in collaboration with Andrea Williams and Stevie G at Nano Nagle Place in Cork.

Due to the COVID19 closure of schools these children are isolated from all educational opportunities. To make the situation worse the majority of them have no access to a personal computer so they are excluded from online teaching supports. This creates a situation of inequality with their classmates and is devastating for the students , particularly those in Leaving Cert who are unfairly impacted. They cannot access homework, revision websites or our free maths grinds.

For more information or to donate to this worthy cause please follow the link here!

About Cork Migrant Centre

The Cork Migrant Centre (CMC) supports the integration of immigrants in Ireland with a special focus on the empowerment of those at risk of poverty, social exclusion, exploitation and discrimination. Established by the Presentation Sisters in 2006 and manged by Dr Naomi Masheti, the Centre provides free, confidential and current information on access to services and immigration issues.

CMC is engaged in creating safe spaces for asylum seeking children, youth and mothers in Cork and its Environs. CMC utilizes a strength-based approach whereby migrant individuals, children and families’ knowledge, skills and experience are acknowledged through participatory working methods. CMC understands that every community inclusive of migrant communities’ are experts in their own lives, and have an un-matched understanding of the needs of their children, families and communities. A guiding principle of CMC’s work is to facilitate organically developed programs tailored to reflect the context of the families and community of clients and targeted at mitigating psychosocial risk factors that may render them vulnerable to psychological distress which would require more intense psychological interventions.

Collaboration and partnerships with service users, other stakeholders (Nationally and Internationally) and academic institutions are key to CMC’s work with the aim of maintaining best work practices, capacity building and delivering evidence- based interventions.

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