In recent weeks a report on direct provision centres in Ireland has shed light on the conditions that many of the 4,360 asylum seekers in Ireland face, almost 15 years after their establishment. While no policy decision has been made on how to change the situation, a number of voluntary groups and individuals have been working in the background to try and improve the lives of those residing in such centres.
Once such person is Newbridge native Ray Coffey who, in September 2014, established The Spraoi Social Fund for families residing in direct provision centres across Kildare. The fund provides a much needed outlet for the parents and children in the form of subsidised theatre/cinema events at Riverbank Arts Centre. The Spraoi Social Fund allows parents and children to attend various events throughout the year, for little or no cost to themselves, through a voucher system which is administered by Newbridge Asylum Seekers Support Group.
Zoryana Pshyk, of Newbridge Asylum Seekers Support Group, and myself spoke to Ciara Plunkett on KFM about The Spraoi Fund and what it means to families residing in Direct Provision:
Link to podcast:
All monies received go to providing full or subsidised admission tickets to family events at Riverbank Arts Centre.