Refugee Week 2021 event details

Interview: Raphael Olympio

As part of UCC's celebration of Refugee Week 2021 Campus Radio is pleased to present an interview with UCC second year student Raphael Olympio.  Raphael is interviewed by Dr. Gertrude Cotter.  Both Raphael and Gertrude are members of UCC’s University of Sanctuary Working Group.  24- year-old Raphael has been living in Cork for 18 years and was just six years old when he moved from Togo in West Africa to Ireland with his parents and younger siblings.  The family were fleeing conflict arising from a civil war.  In this interview he speaks about his early childhood years in Togo, he discusses life for his family living in Direct Provision in Clonakilty, and his experience of primary and secondary school as he grew up in Cork.  This is a story of courage, resilience, self-awareness and the power of faith.  Raphael and his family have overcome mental health difficulties, racism, foster care, and changes of country, school and home, yet he has emerged as a successful university student, an accomplished musician and a powerful advocate for refugee communities in Ireland.

Listen here...

How to Make the Perfect Cuppa (to Fuel Your Social Justice Chats)

Pour yourself some tea, coffee or hot chocolate, and join UCC Fáilte Refugees Society and Ceangal for some chats on how to ace discussing serious issues - from how to fact check on the fly to how to predict an opposing argument, we'll be brushing up on the skills needed to defend your point of view, all while figuring out the perfect beverage to warm you up.

Mon 22nd February at 6 p.m.

Check out for more information and how to join in.

Children in Direct Provision

Join UCC Fáilte Refugees Society and UCC Paediatric Sub-Society for a panel discussion exploring questions regarding the social, psychological and physical challenges that refugee children face here in Ireland.  We are delighted to have representatives from Every Child Is Your Child and NASC joining us to discuss this serious issue.

Tuesday February 23rd at 7 p.m.

See for more information on UCC Fáilte Refugees activities.

To listen back, click here

Scholars at Risk Network

SAR-Ireland formed as a partnership between Universities Ireland and the Scholars at Risk Network in September 2009. This partnership provides support to threatened academics around the world, including by arranging temporary placements in Ireland to allow them to safely continue their work. (

Dr Angela Flynn, SAR Representative for UCC, will guide you through the SAR-Ireland Network and how UCC can work with it to all of our benefit.

Wednesday 24th 12-12:45 p.m.

Watch the video here.

A Conversation on the Refugee Determination Process and the Recommendations in the Day Report

Centre for Criminal Justice and Human Rights (CCJHR)

Lunchtime Seminar

A Conversation on the Refugee Determination Process and the Recommendations in the Day Report

Wednesday 24th February 2021, 1-2pm

Online: Zoom


This event is a student-led question and answer session with three panel members who have a vast wealth of knowledge and experience working and advocating for refugees in Ireland. Making decisions on whether someone faces persecution or human rights violations in their home country can be complex, and the legal process can be confusing. Yet the need for high quality decision making is clear. This seminar will therefore provide an accessible overview of the refugee determination procedure in Ireland including its decision-making process, as well as discussing the challenges to the current system and the recommendations posed by the Day Report. The seminar will take the form of an interactive discussion between the student interviewers and the panel members, and the audience will also be afforded the opportunity to pose questions to the panel members in connection to the theme.


  • Victoria Oluwatobi Isa Daniel (LLM International Human Rights Law & Public Policy)
  • Ruth Kelliher (LLM Children’s Rights & Family Law)


Panel members:

  • Fiona Hurley, Policy & Communications Manager, Nasc: Migrant & Refugee Rights
  • Nick Henderson, CEO, Irish Refugee Council
  • Additional speaker, Irish Refugee Council


This seminar is jointly hosted by the UCC School of Law Centre for Criminal Justice and Human Rights (CCJHR) as part of the UCC Refugee Week 2021.

For the full agenda of event for Refugee Week, see:

Refugee Entrepreneurship

University College Cork Refugee Week, 2021


Refugee Entrepreneurship


24th February at 16:00-17:30

Online via Zoom.


Registration here


Launch of the Small Business Economics Journal Special Issue (March 2021) on Refugee Entrepreneurship, edited by Sameeksha Desai (Indiana University) Wim Naudé (Cork University Business School, University College Cork) and Nora Stel (Radboud University).


(Photo: UN-Habitat)

Concerns about the material wellbeing of refugees and its consequences have led to increasing attention on their wage labor outcomes, and the effects of this on the wages of native-born employees. However, most often, wage labor is unavailable as livelihood to refugees, leaving entrepreneurial activities as the only source of agency in survival and development. The participation of refugees in entrepreneurship and its outcomes are under-researched in the scientific literature. The extant research on migration and entrepreneurship focuses largely on immigrant entrepreneurs but not specifically the refugee context. Refugees may be different from other migrants because of the reasons, nature, and processes of their mobility. How and why, are not well understood. Since refugees are not primarily moving for economic or business reasons, the forced nature of their mobility can play a significant role in shaping their economic activity. For example, labor market regulations and legal frameworks specifically governing asylum seekers can affect if and how quickly they may participate in the economy in the host country. The papers contained in this special section tried to close the gap in this regard.


In this session, the editors will discuss what is currently known about refugee entrepreneurship, identify gaps and opportunities for future research, and discuss some new contributions from the papers in this special section.




    Sameeksha Desai                Wim Naudé                Nora Stel

                                                           Sameeksha Desai is Associate Professor at the Paul H. O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University, United States. In her research, she explores the conditions that influence entrepreneurship and the regional economic and resilience outcomes of various types of entrepreneurial activity.

Wim Naudé is Professor of Economics at Cork University Business School, University College Cork, Ireland. His scholarly work is concerned with entrepreneurship, technological innovation and sustainable economic development.

Nora Stel is Assistant Professor at the Center for International Conflict Analysis and Management at the Political Science Department of Radboud University Nijmegen, where she is a founding member of the Radboud Young Academy. Nora's work explores the epistemic politics of authority and legitimacy in conflict-affected settings, specifically focusing on the governance of forced displacement in the Middle East. She is the author of “Hybrid Political Order and the Politics of Uncertainty: Refugee Governance in Lebanonpublished by Routledge.



Art in Action (webinar and exhibition)

Art in Action
A webinar co-hosted by UCC Fáilte Refugees Society and The Glucksman, UCC
Wednesday 24th February 5pm
This webinar will look at how art can provide a means of creative expression and agency for young people residing in Direct Provision. Three invited speakers will explore how creative activities are crucial to young people dealing with their troubled living situations and how exhibitions and projects can provide a significant platform to share their experiences in the public realm. 
This webinar is run as part of the Art in Action project funded by the European Solidarity Corps.
Art in Action
An exhibition by a group of imaginative children for UCC Refugee Week
Art in Action was a 12-month creative project built on a collaboration between UCC Fáilte Refugees Society and the Glucksman working with children who are residing in Drishane Castle Direct Provision Accommodation Centre in Millstreet. The project sought to enable the children to have positive creative experiences, to learn art making skills and creative approaches that would allow them to better understand and to share their experiences of the past 12 months. The selection of drawings on display here, offer an insight into the children's lives, sharing imaginative stories or cherished memories with families and friends, they also present the challenges of 2020 and offer glimpses of the children's hopes for the future.
The exhibition runs at outdoor locations on UCC campus from 18 February to 12 March 2021.
The project is funded as part of the European Solidarity Corps programme supported by Leargas

Building Bridges: Building Agency

Building Bridges: Building Agency

12.30-2.30pm Thursday 25th 2021 

Hosted by the University of Sanctuary Working Group, UCC 


 Dr Naomi Masheti: Cork Migrant Centre  

Dina Vyapuri - Purplunicorn 

Roos Demol: Recruit Refugees Ireland 



This event brings together three community-based migrant organisations who are working alongside migrants, refugees and people seeking asylum in Ireland. It showcases the important work and activities these three organisations are engaged in, promoting the inclusion and integration of migrants. The rights-based and innovative approaches adopted by these organisations are considered highly significant in understanding and unlocking the valuable contribution that migrants can make to Irish society.  The webinar will act as a space for knowledge-sharing and creating avenues for sustainable solutions, while also promoting the building of connections and stronger networks of solidarity between the university and the wider community.  

 Click here to join the meeting  

Event Programme 


Welcome: Dr Claire Dorrity (School of Applied Social Studies) 

Opening Remarks: Dr Martin Galvin (UCC Civic and Community Engagement Officer, National Campus Engage Initiative of the Irish Universities Association) 

Chair and Discussion Facilitator: Dr Piaras Mac Éinrí (Department of Geography) 

Presenter 1: Dr Naomi Masheti -Cork Migrant Centre 

Presenter 2: Dina Vyapuri -Purplunicorn  

Presenter 3: Roos Demol – Recruit Refugees Ireland 


Presentation Abstracts 

Rethinking Community Engagement with Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Migrants 

Dr Naomi Masheti 

Naomi’s presentation will highlight how the issue of transformative activism must be key to community engagement.  Within this context, she believes that the decolonization of community work with asylum seekers, refugees and migrants is key to shifting community work from a more traditional charity-based to a more rights—based approach that includes the voices of the vulnerable and emphasises a ‘nothing about me without me’ approach.  Within this context, she argues that even ‘well-meaning intentions’ must be questioned, most specifically when these voices of those most marginalised are absent and avenues to participation, agency and deliberation are denied.  


Achieving inclusion in innovation through embracing the participation of migrants 

Dina Vyapuri 

Acknowledging the need to shift perceptions, this presentation explores migrant potential and possibilities through embracing the valuable contribution of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers to broader society.  The presentation promotes an understanding of integration which questions how we view displaced migrants and proposes that rather than view migrants refugees and asylum seekers as a burden on state resources, we make a conscious shift towards achieving inclusion and integration through a focus on the neglected potential contribution of asylum seekers, refugees migrants. Within this context, providing opportunities for full inclusion is viewed as an integral part of achieving migrant integration, creating alternatives and embracing new possibilities for an inclusive Ireland that leaves no one behind.  


Building Bridges from Within 

Roos Demol 

This presentation will examine the activities that Roos is involved in, emphasising the importance of involving refugees themselves in decision-making processes and negotiations with local communities. Her presentation will focus on why she developed certain activities, and what this has meant for building personal relationships with residents within the direct provision (DP)centres. Roos will also address some of the challenges that can occur in developing initiatives and put forward some recommendations in relation to policy implementation and the importance of involving residents of Direct Provision in order to integrate people into their local communities, most specifically in the employment sector.   



Presenter Bios 

Dr Naomi Masheti is a Psychologist and Program Coordinator at Cork Migrant Centre. She is a three-time graduate of UCC; she holds a BA in Applied Psychology (2007), an MA in Forensic Psychology (2008) and a PhD specialising in the Psychosocial Wellbeing of Sub-Saharan African Migrant Children (2015). Originally from Kenya, Dr Masheti has been living in Cork since 2001. She has developed culturally sensitive training programs for front line service providers, delivered to UCC BSW and Psychology programmes and UCD Clinical Psychology program.  As a direct result of her PhD, Naomi was instrumental in setting up the Cork Migrant Centre Psychosocial Wellbeing and Integration Hub at Nano Nagle Place, Cork.  This initiative is based on the ‘Culturally-informed Psychosocial Model of Health & Wellbeing’ used in humanitarian settings. It is premised on the creation of a ‘safe place’ where migrant families, including children and youth, can engage in psychosocial wellbeing and integration-promoting activities, targeting individual, social and cultural functioning. In shaping her vision of bringing about transformative change to migrant communities, Naomi has engaged in partnerships with UCC School of Psychology, the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Unit, Alumni & Development, the Glucksman Gallery and UCC societies such as Netsoc (UCC) and Failte Refugees. Through her work, Naomi became a recipient of UCC’s Athena SWAN Equality Award. 


Dina Vyapuri is the founder & CEO of Purpl Unicorn. The organisation’s mission is to empower displaced migrants through lifelong learning for better employability.  Purpl Unicorn works closely with businesses to help them identify opportunities to help migrants and refugees through up-skilling training programs. This initiative is centred on developing and implementing tangible training plans to support migrants to enter employment.  Dina is also the co-founder of CyberWomenIreland, an initiative which encourages the participation of women in the field of cyber security.  This included the establishment of the Cyber4Women pilot project, focused on up-skilling migrant women in cyber security. Dina’s vision is embedded in the principle that companies have the greatest impact when they embrace migrants as economically productive professionals. 


Roos Demol is a Flemish woman now living in Cork, who is CEO of the grassroots organisation International Community Dynamics. Roos started this organisation with Norbert Nkengutse and Albert Hakizimana, both who are refugees.  Together they recognised the impact that music has on promoting inclusion and diversity within the community. Working with residents of Direct Provision, they have since developed the world music band, Citadel and the cricket Team KRAC 11 with the residents of the Kinsale Road Accommodation Centre. Roos has been a very active member of the Cork City of Sanctuary Movement and continues to offer support and guidance to refugees and international protection applicants. Her most recent project has been in setting up Recruit Refugees Ireland.  This initiative is a social enterprise under the ICD (International College Dublin) umbrella. The project aims to connect refugees and residents of DP centres to the right jobs, through collaboration with other organisations.  Its aim is to ensure every candidate is job ready and aligned with a job in their chosen area. Despite the many challenges, Roos has continued to provide support and assistance to residents of the system of Direct Provision throughout the pandemic.  


(Event Organisers: Dr Claire Dorrity, School of Applied Social Studies and Dr Piaras Mac Éinrí, Department of Geography) 

A play reading of ‘The Future’ by Helena Tornero, translated by Helena Buffery

Play Reading of ‘The Future’ by Helena Tornero, translated by Helena Buffery

Venue: Zoom!

Date/time: 3pm Fri 25th Feb

Tickets: Free – sign up for access here:

Artist bios:

Playwright: Helena Tornero

Helena Tornero is an acclaimed Catalan playwright, stage director, actress, translator and teacher of playwriting who works in Spanish, Catalan, French and English. She has authored and translated a large number of plays, including devised work in refugee settings.

Translator: Helena Buffery

Helena Buffery is based in the Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies, UCC, where she teaches and researches on contemporary Hispanic theatre and performance, Catalan Studies and Translation Studies.

Readers: Final Year & MA students from Theatre and Performative Practices This reading is part of course work for the Applied Drama & Theatre: Advanced Module.

Lecturer: Fionn Woodhouse

Fionn Woodhouse is an academic, theatre-maker and facilitator of drama/theatre with particular interest in youth participation and learning through practice. He lectures with the Department of Theatre, UCC, on Applied Drama, Theatre Production, and Theatre Practice.

Brief synopsis:

"To put oneself into the place of the other, that is the question. To find a place, a person, a group of people that you can call “home”. A place where the great adventure is not to conquer, but to co-habit, where the heroes are not conquerors, but carers. A place where more than words we find actions. Kind actions.

A place where the great adventure is to know the other."

Migration Narratives


Refugee Week 2021 Online Webinar

4 - 5pm Thursday 25th Feb 2021

Kilian Kleinschmidt

Migration Narratives: A Critical Exploration

This event is jointly hosted by the ISS21 Migration and Integration Research Cluster and the University of Sanctuary Working Group (USWG) UCC

Click here to join the meeting


Event Programme

Welcome Address:

Dr Claire Dorrity, School of Applied Social Studies and USWG

Dr Caitriona Ni Laoire: Chair of ISS21 Migration and Integration Research Cluster

Dr Dug Cubie: Chair of the University of Sanctuary Working Group

Opening Remarks: Professor Nuala Finnegan, Department of Spanish, Portuguese & Latin American Studies and UCC Equality and Diversity Unit, UCC Equality Committee Chairperson

Keynote Speaker: Kilian Kleinschmidt, CEO of the Innovation and Planning Agency (IPA) of the 21st century and SWITXBOARD.

Followed by Q&A Session


Presentation title: Migration Narratives A Critical Exploration

People have been forever on the move; migration is the key to evolution and change. We have ended in categorising and classifying humans on the move, wasting billions in this triage rather than being visionary and creating a win-win. While there is the impediment to protect the rights of those who are homeless and stateless due to conflict and persecution, this has also led to discrimination and often criminalisation of all those in search of better opportunities. In our urge for protection and providing humanitarian assistance for the forcefully displaced, seeking their return as the ultimate goal, we are protracting their status quo. We are holding humans hostage to the myth of return. Camps and refugee centers thus, becoming storage facilities rather than allowing their inhabitants to look forward.


Presenters Bio:

Kilian is an international networker, development and migration expert with 30 years of experience in a wide range of countries, emergencies and refugee camps as United Nations official, Aid Worker and Diplomat. He is the CEO of the startup Innovation and Planning Agency (IPA) of the 21st century, through its project SWITXBOARD.  He has established IPA SWITXBOARD in Tunisia where he is currently based. Here, he is developing and advising on several initiatives, which aim at sustainable investment and social impact in very fragile environments.


Kilian’s previous senior roles include Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Deputy Special Envoy for Assistance to Pakistan, Director of Za’atari Refugee Camp, Jordan, Director for Communities and Minorities in the UN administration in Kosovo, Executive Secretary for the Migration and Refugee Initiative (MARRI) in the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe and many field based functions with UNHCR, UNDP and WFP. He became known as the “Mayor of Za'atari" when he managed the refugee camp of Za'atari in Northern Jordan from 2013-2014 on behalf of UNHCR. Za'atari has become a symbol for new and innovative approaches in refugee and humanitarian management under his leadership. Kilian has worked extensively in Africa, South Eastern Europe, Pakistan and Sri Lanka and during the European refugee crisis advised the Austrian Minister of Interior on Refugees on the administration of reception centres. Most recently he was a Special Advisor to the German Minister of Development on refugee issues and innovative partnerships (2016) and advised Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern on migration issues in Africa. 


Kilian believes in the power of connectivity and that we can fix it all through the better and more effective access of disadvantaged populations and fragile regions to the immense wealth of knowhow, technologies and finance, which we have accumulated collectively. It is his conviction that the global brain and collective resilience grows with every connection made successfully, solving a challenge and seizing new opportunities. His work on emerging cities, Special Development Zones and urbanization of refugee camps is widely recognized as the way forward in dealing with mass migration, population shifts and transformation of society. His work challenges the Humanitarian Aid Sector approach through highlighting a range of new and unorthodox partnerships, technologies, and ways of financing, building on networking and ‘swarm intelligence’ rather than hierarchies and ineffective bureaucracies. He currently lives and works in Tunis.


He is a public speaker and coach and has published three books - “Weil es um die Menschen geht” (Because it’s about People) (ECON 2015), “Beyond Survival” (Dumont-Mair 2016) and “Tod dem Helfer” (Death to the Helper) (Dumont-Mair 2017) and has authored a number of articles on refugee and migration issues. He is well renowned for his public speaker in conferences, TEDx talks and other widely attended public events.

To view all events for UCC Refugee Week please visit:


Direct Provision; Asylum, The Academy and Activism


Direct Provision: Asylum, the Academy and Activism

Thursday 25th February 5:30 p.m.

We are delighted to launch this book edited by UCC's Dr Jacqui O'Riordan and Mike Fitzgibbon.

This book examines approaches and responses to working with the asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant communities in Ireland. Through their experiences, analyses and activist accounts, contributors name direct provision as a system that facilitates the marginalization and dehumanizing of people. In making visible some of the undocumented challenges to direct provision, the co-operation and engagement between local and migrant communities, and the very real and moving experiences of living in such conditions, this publication forms a part of the ongoing challenge to direct provision. It calls for a reconsideration of the infallibility of the reductionist-dominant narrative that reduces responsibility to care and protect human life, to narrow economic considerations, and calls on the State to recognize its duty of care in its fullest conceptualization. While analysing through the lens of care, the reductionist and repressive State policies and practices are revealed. Most emphasis is placed on the reactions and resilience of the asylum-seeking community, through their numerous acts of resistance, supported by a significant cohort of friends and activists within and outwith the direct provision system.


Register here for the event.


Join UCC Fáilte Refugees Society for a fun bingo night and help us raise funds for charity!  On Thursday at 7PM there will be a Charity Bingo in aid of a support fund for trans people in direct provision. UCC Fáilte Refugees Society and UCC LGBTQ Society will be offering a fabulous array of prizes from Annie Mar Illustrations, Dulce Bun House, Ava Drennan Art, and Ranart Cakes!  Entry will cost €3

Link to follow for more details.

Migrant Crisis in Latin America and the Caribbean: Humanitarian Response & Resilience Building by Irish NGO GOAL

Refugee Week 2021 Online Webinar

3pm Friday 26th Feb 2021


Topic: Migrant Crisis in Latin America and the Caribbean: Humanitarian Response & Resilience Building by Irish NGO GOAL

Invited guests:

Bernard McCaul

Deputy Director Programme Innovation and LAC Regional Director


Marcelo González

LAC Roving Technical Advisor for Disaster Risk Reduction

GOAL Global

(Hosted by UCC’s Latin American Regional Working Group (LARWG))


Click here to join the meeting


Event Programme

Welcome: Cliona Maher (Latin American Strategy, International Office and LARWG)

Opening Remarks: Professor Maria Sousa-Gallagher, School of Engineering and Chair of LARWG

Moderators: Cliona Maher & Dr Claire Dorrity, School of Applied Social Studies and LARWG

Presenters: Bernard McCaul and Marcelo González

Followed by Q&A


Presentation Abstract

GOAL, an international humanitarian and development agency, works with communities to achieve sustainable and innovative early response in crises, and lasting solutions to poverty and vulnerability. GOAL has worked in over 60 countries and responded to almost every major humanitarian disaster. Following an initial Phase response in 2019, GOAL has scaled up its operations in Colombia and response plan to the Venezuelan migrant crisis which is now the second largest migrant crisis in the world. The GOAL team in LAC works in urban resilience, inclusive economic development, early warning and response, protection as well as support teams in logistics, finance, human resources and security. Bernard will share his experience in LAC.

Presenter Bios

 Bernard McCaul is GOAL’s Deputy Director for Programme Design and Innovation and Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean. Bernard is a graduate of UCC with an undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering and a master’s degree in Engineering Science. Bernard started out his career in engineering consultancy but transitioned to international aid when he joined GOAL emergency responses to major humanitarian crisis including the Asian tsunami in 2004 and Hurricane Mitch in Central America in 1998. Since 2005 Bernard has been primarily based in Latin America and the Caribbean and lives in Honduras with his wife and three children. Bernard is currently leading GOAL’s response to the Venezuelan Migrant crisis and other humanitarian and development interventions in Colombia, Central America, Haiti and other locations in the LAC region. 


 Marcelo González is GOAL’s LAC Roving Technical Advisor for Disaster Risk Reduction. Marcelo is a political scientist with a master’s degree in International Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid (CEAH, Spain), and specialist in Risk and Disaster Management (FIU, United States and CIMNE, Spain), and in Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (UMET, Argentina).

Marcelo has performed various senior management roles in the international co-operation sector, being Project Manager, Country Director and Regional Program Manager implementing humanitarian and development projects, even when conditions are very stressful. Marcelo is a senior international cooperant, with more than 30 years of experience in Latin America (Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Nicaragua, Honduras), Europe (Italy), Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Sri Lanka) and the Middle East (Palestine, Lebanon), including responses to major humanitarian crisis including the Asian tsunami in 2004 and Hurricane Mitch in Central America in 1998. Since 2007 Marcelo is working in response to IDP’s and refugees needs in the most critical 21st Century refugee´s crisis (Syrian and Venezuelan ones). Marcelo is currently advising GOAL’s Regional Director on responding to the Venezuelan Migrant crisis and other humanitarian and development interventions in Colombia, Central America, Haiti, and other LAC region locations.

To view all events for UCC Refugee Week please visit:


Fáilte Refugees Annual Conference

Join Fáilte Refugees UCC for the annual Refugee Conference, with speakers on lived experiences as a refugee in Ireland, support services and groups serving the refugee community, and the impact of Covid-19 on life in Direct Provision.  Featuring a performance from renowned poet Parwana Amiri.

Saturday 27th February 2-4 p.m.

For more information on UCC Fáilte Refugees activities see:

TO attend the conference, join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 946 5241 3773
Passcode: 088917

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Unit

Comhionannas, Éagsúlacht agus Ionchuimsitheacht

South Lodge, College Road, University College, Cork, T12 RXA9