Event Details

3:00 PM, 24 Jan 2019 - , Aula Maxima, UCC 3:00-4:30 pm

Nurturing Dreams in a New Home with Sam Taylor, Médicins Sans Frontières (MSF) and Haikal Mansor, General Secretary of the European Rohingya Council


Haikal Mansor is an asylum seeker living outside the Irish Direct Provision since 2011. He fled his birthplace Burma in 2006 to seek for an education in medicine, which is completely banned for his Rohingya community in Burma, from where more than 750,000 Rohingya were expelled in August 2017 during a campaign which the United Nations described “the Ongoing Genocide”.

He currently serves as General Secretary of the European Rohingya Council, Executive committee at Rohingya Action Ireland and secretary of Carlow Integration Forum. He is often invited to deliver lectures and talks on Human Rights, Refugee Crisis and Theology at various Irish schools and colleges.

"Education is the key to unlock our greatest natural resource – freedom. Deprivation of education deprives the freedom. Everyone, with no exception to refugees and asylum seekers, deserves the basic freedom. It is the final sanctuary of mind, which binds bonds and builds bridges in an inclusive society like that of Ireland."

Sam Taylor has been with Médecins Sans Frontières/ Doctors Without Borders (MSF) since 2009 and has worked in around 14 different projects worldwide, ranging from HIV in China to drug-resistant Tuberculosis in Armenia. Before joining the team in Dublin in 2016, Sam spent two years as the international senior communications coordinator as part of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)’s response to the Syria Crisis. He has also spent time in Nepal as part of MSF’s earthquake response and in Guinea as part of the Ebola response. Prior to his role on the Syria crisis team, Sam worked for five years for MSF Japan, starting as an operational communications advisor and ending as director of communications.

Sam Taylor will be talking about MSF’s experience of providing healthcare to people on the move around the world, and the impact that government policies are having on refugees in several different contexts, including: 

  • Central Mediterranean and Libya. 
  • Bangladesh. 
  • Refugees and asylum seekers in Nauru. 
  • Mexico and Central America. 

In Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, more than 900,000 Rohingya live in severely overcrowded makeshift camps where the sheer number of people and poor living conditions create huge medical needs. As of September 2018, MSF teams have conducted more than 840,00 medical consultations for patients in Cox’s Bazar,” said Sam Taylor, Director of Médecins Sans Frontières/ Doctors Without Borders (MSF) Ireland.

“In addition to being denied rights in Myanmar, the Rohingya are not recognised as refugees in Bangladesh or other neighbouring host countries, like Malaysia. The lack of legal status, coupled with a lack of international political will to resolve the underlying discrimination and violence they faced in Myanmar, must be addressed so that the Rohingya are no longer trapped in a cycle of abuse and suffering.”

All welcome. Organised by EDI Unit, UCC

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