Youth Work with Young Refugees

Youth workers from Youth Work Ireland’s Member Youth Services have been working to support young refugees for many years. Their engagement has included both traditional youth work services; and supports that go far beyond the remit of funding requirements and youth work provision.

In our work we take a human rights approach and continue to challenge discrimination and inequality to ensure these young people feel included and valued in their new communities. 

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.

Waiting, Waiting, Waiting 
Young People’s Stories of Direct Provision

Waiting, Waiting, Waiting is a short film featuring young people from Youth Work Ireland’s Member Youth Services. It gives voice to the lived experiences of Direct Provision. The film threads multiple voices from varying perspectives, to express the overarching themes of frustration, autonomy, helplessness and hope, felt by young people growing up in Direct Provision Centres in Ireland today.

The 10 minute film was 
produced with the support of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission and features ten young people aged between 14 and 24 who have lived or are living in Direct Provision Centres in Cork, Longford and Limerick. 

The film making process was youth led from the beginning with the young people supported to determine the themes, concepts. messaging and cinematography style for the film. The film provides a safe space for this group of young people to articulate their feelings about their lives, and their aspirations for the future.

The film is made up of three shorted videos – Waiting to Start, Waiting to Leave and Waiting for Life – which give space to the variety of perspectives of the young people involved, all sharing their own version of the theme of waiting.