Communities welcoming refugees and creating scholarship programmes

Local Integration

Communities welcoming refugees and creating scholarship programmes

Still-U of Sanctuary

Olufunke Olarinoye shares her powerful story of losing her daughter, and how she was able to cope and rebuild with the help of a University of Sanctuary scholarship to study online through DCU Connected.

Contact details

Submitted by: Jody Clarke, Senior External Relations Associate

Email: [email protected]


Introduction to the project






Places of Sanctuary Ireland (PoSI) is a network of groups in towns, cities and local communities who promote a welcoming culture of inclusiveness across every sphere and sector of society. PoSI works through community groups, schools and higher education institutions, churches, local councils, businesses and other organisations in the belief that newcomers have much to offer Irish society. PoSI is not affiliated with any political or religious organisation, but is linked to the wider City of Sanctuary movement which was established in the UK in 2005, with the vision of turning cities into spaces of welcome and inclusion, especially for those seeking sanctuary.

Project aims

PoSI wants to ensure that the voices of refugees are heard and that their skills and talents are given an opportunity to flourish – for their good and the good of Irish society as a whole.


Main activities of the Good Practice

  • Creating scholarship programmes in universities.
  • Challenging misinformation, dispelling stereotypes and myths about refugees.
  • Building coalitions of organisations from all sectors (faith groups, voluntary, business, education, etc) which make a public commitment to welcoming and including refugees and people seeking sanctuary into their activities.

Some activities that took place in 2018:


  • Secret Santa events for children where members of the community donated Christmas presents, giving us an opportunity to visit and connect with families. Presents were also donated by pupils of Gaelscoil Dhún Dealgan. We hope to further collaborate with the school in building schools of sanctuary.
  • The University of Limerick (UL) held its first Sanctuary Week. This was undertaken as part of the ongoing University of Sanctuary programme, with the aim of raising awareness on issues facing refugees and asylum seekers.


Places of Sanctuary Ireland

Results of the Good Practice

  • The project has been instrumental in creating the Universities of Sanctuary movement, which encouraged all 7 Irish universities to offer scholarships to refugees and asylum-seekers.
  • The Politics in Sanctuary Programme works to encourage refugees, asylum seekers and migrants to make their voices heard through political and social campaigning.
  • Creation of voluntary groups to welcome refugees, including choirs of sanctuary, schools of sanctuary and youth groups that encourage young refugees to apply for youth awards.