Young people living in Direct Provision Centres can no longer wait to have their rights affirmed, vindicated and upheld
Young people supported by Youth Work Ireland’s membership and going through the asylum process, say there is no time to wait to have their rights vindicated – supports are needed now! This is the message of a short film Waiting, Waiting, Waiting funded with the support of Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission and launched today in the Irish Film Institute by former Miss Ireland Pamela Uba.
The 10-minute film features 10 young people aged 14 and 24 from County Longford Youth Services, Limerick Youth Services and CDYS Youth Work Ireland, who have lived, or are living in Direct Provision Centres. The film threads multiple voices from varying perspectives together, to express the overarching themes of frustration, helplessness and hope.
The organisation also launched a new youth work resource, to support young people to become empowered and integrated in Irish society. The resource – Youth Work with Young People in Direct Provision and those Seeking Asylum – Practice Guidelines to Support Youth Workers – is a ‘how to’ for youth workers to support their work to engage and work with young people seeking asylum and their families. Youth workers have played a key role in supporting young people seeking asylum for many years, with much of this work under funded and falling outside the remit of traditional youth work. In many cases youth workers have become the main point of contact, support, family and friend to the young person who themselves may be dealing with trauma and have no one to support or care for them. The resource, developed by the everyday experiences of youth workers, will help build the knowledge, skills and capacity of youth workers and clearly demonstrates how youth work practices and processed can be applied easily and effectively to working with young people from different cultures, religions and backgrounds
Speaking at the launch Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development Joe O’Brien, said “This is a vital piece of work and a poignant and timely reminder that we need to renew our collective focus on supporting people living in Direct Provision, particularly young people, while we work towards ending Direct Provision completely.”
Speaking at the launch Gina Halpin, Head of Information and Inclusion at Youth Work Ireland, who led this project, said “Young people grow up quickly and the opportunity for them to build a future is brief. There is no time to wait to begin the process of securing their rights, and becoming fully part of Irish society. That’s the message of this film and that’s why Youth Work Ireland is investing in developing effective supports for young people in the asylum-seeking process through our new youth work practice resource and programme of work. What’s needed now is for the state to invest in youth work for asylum seeking young people in line with their own recommendations and ultimately to end the practice of direct provision in Ireland immediately.”