KASI Praises Community Response and Encourages People to Continue to Show Welcome on World Refugee Week
KASI are calling on the community of Killarney to continue to support and embrace refugees and other migrants this World Refugee Day, 20th June and World Refugee Week, 19-25 June. The NGO also highlights contributions of migrant and local communities towards positive integration in Killarney and across Kerry.
KASI Coordinator, Marilyn Catapat-Counihan, says the current global migration outlook and Ireland’s past and present experience of migration should inform how we welcome refugees on an ongoing basis.
“Over 110 million people are now displaced around the world, and over 35 million of those people are refugees, who have had to go abroad to seek safety. With climate change causing more extreme weather events globally, and conflict in various regions putting more people in serious danger, we know that forced migration is not something that will go away.”
“World Refugee Day is an opportunity to reflect on the kind of society we are and who we want to be looking forward. Irish people have a long history of migration, sometimes forced by famine and other times forced by economic and social turmoil. For the most part, we were provided the space and tools to prosper.”
A Fair Chance
“Forced migration is still a reality for millions of people around the world today, and we must continue to extend the hand of welcome and help people, many who face personal and collective trauma, to rebuild and to thrive. With our long history of emigration, we should understand more than most the benefits of giving people a fair chance.”
Ms Counihan says World Refugee Week is also a chance to acknowledge the sense of community and togetherness in Killarney, which has hosted thousands of people from Ukraine since the outbreak of the war there in February 2022, as well as protection applicants from other countries around the world.
“The community has continued to be incredible in stepping-up to welcome people in need of a safe haven from war and persecution. Those people in turn help enrich our society. We will continue to promote that positive response and integration into the future.”
“We also hope that this government will formulate and rapidly act on medium to long-term plans in response to accommodate and integrate people coming from Ukraine and around the world. This is essential in enabling a sense of stability for people who have already had to leave so much behind.”
KASI are hosting an intercultural day, Killarney Le Chéile (Together), on Saturday 8th July. This day-time event is aimed at promoting positive integration in the community. Killarney Le Chéile is free and people of all ages and backgrounds are welcome. More details to follow on kasi.ie soon.