MIGRATION AN UNFOLDING STORY
A development agenda without migration would be out of step with our times. (William Lacy Swing, Director General of the International Organisation for Migration). Currently, more than one billion of the world population are migrants. This is a reality which poses many challenges for all involved the migrants themselves as well as the home and host countries. As a society, it is in our own best interests to welcome and integrate migrants, and to put into place structures and policies which will protect and enhance migration for the benefit of all.
At the time of the 2011 Census, the data indicated that there were 544,357 non-Irish nationals living in Ireland. Of these 8,704 were Brazilians. Many of them came to live and work in the West of Ireland in meat processing factories, in construction work and in the hospitality sector. A large number made their home in Roscommon town and environs where they continue to live. They bring many benefits to the local economy a younger work-force; a broad range of skill levels; a willingness to work and integrate, as well as a diverse richness of culture, religion, language, music, sport and ethnic cuisine.
Vita House has been to the forefront in establishing a dedicated service for the Brazilian community. As education is a key component of the integration process, English Language Courses are given on an on-going basis. These are proving very popular and helpful especially for the women who generally have to negotiate the various systems on behalf of the family. They are also encouraged to participate in V.E.C. programmes and community activities.
A Resource Worker is available Mon. to Thurs. to provide a comprehensive service aimed at promoting access to institutions as well as to public services.
The following are the main areas where help is provided:
Interpretation and accompaniment through the Immigration Process. Accessing Social Welfare, Health, Education and Housing services Interpretation and accompaniment to Hospital visits; Ante-Natal Clinics; Child Development Clinics; Case Conferences; Parent Teacher Meetings etc. General support and assistance in coping with the challenges of daily life.