“Welcome to the Community Host Programme - we're looking forward to working with you and your community support group as you welcome new families and individuals into your communities and homes. The number of people who are supporting refugees fleeing Ukraine is a testament to the generosity and kindness of Irish communities. We are delighted to have in place a comprehensive package of supports, developed alongside hosts and partners, to ensure hosts are well prepared and supported to welcome people who have been displaced at a time when they need us the most.”
- Conor Platt, The Open Community
Communities across Ireland have responded in inspiring and extraordinary ways to the situations in Afghanistan and Ukraine to welcome refugees to Ireland. The training, resources and supports available here reflect the collective experience and expertise within Ireland’s Community Sponsorship programme and have been tailored from existing programme resources and in consulta...
Communities across Ireland have responded in inspiring and extraordinary ways to the situations in Afghanistan and Ukraine to welcome refugees to Ireland. The training, resources and supports available here reflect the collective experience and expertise within Ireland’s Community Sponsorship programme and have been tailored from existing programme resources and in consultation with hosts. They are designed to help guide the establishment of community support groups, who are then able to provide wraparound supports to both hosts and displaced families or individuals.
The range of supports available include:
Online expert-led interactive training programme for hosts and community support groups;
A downloadable Welcome Plan with step-by-step guidance on how to welcome and assist refugees to settle into local communities;
Regular online support sessions for hosts and community support groups with experienced hosts and leading experts;
A multilingual mobile app called Swift Integration, available in Ukrainian and four other languages, which provides clear and concise information on a range of areas of Irish life;
Through the Community Response Fund on ChangeX, seed funding of €1,000 per community support group (subject to funding available)
"Hosting has been one of the most enriching and positive experiences I have ever had. Starting this I had no expectations as to what to expect. If you had told me I would take a stranger into my home and that we would end up being the best of companions and share such rich life experiences, I would never have believed it. Having access to a range of different supports and resources to help guide the experience and provide structure is hugely important and very valuable. It has been an utter blessing and I consider myself incredibly lucky - I cannot recommend it enough."
How to get involved
We suggest you commit to coming together as a group for an hour or two each week to make a plan and work out who can do what - allowing additional time between meetings to take the actions and ensure communications are kept up to date. The online training can be done in stages and will take approx. 2 hours to complete and you'll need a couple of hours to draft the Welcome Plan. Supporting the families over the coming weeks and months will depend on individual needs.