Arrival of people seeking refuge from Ukraine to form the background to inaugural series of events
The Technological University of the Shannon (TUS) is to host its inaugural International Refugee Week – March 21-25, raising up the voices and experiences of people seeking refuge in Ireland.
The Technological University, now in its sixth month of existence, is lighting campuses in yellow and blue to show solidarity with the Ukraine and Ukrainians seeking refuge in Ireland. During International Refugee Week at TUS, events will include exhibitions, debates, a VR experience, workshops, lectures and talks, all with the purpose of highlighting the challenges faced by refugees in Ireland and providing a platform for the voice of refugees. In total, TUS will host 10 events at its Athlone, Clonmel, Moylish and Thurles campuses.
Marian Duggan, VP for People, Culture, and Equality Diversity and Inclusion at TUS said, “Inclusion in education is vital and should extend to all who would benefit from it, regardless of their circumstance. At TUS, we are committed to fostering a welcoming and safe space for refugees and asylum seekers, and part of that means listening to people’s lived experiences, acknowledging the difficulties they have faced, and working collectively to break down barriers and challenge perceptions. Through TUS International Refugee Week, we will raise up marginalised voices and celebrate the strength and resilience of displaced people who have sought refuge in Ireland and across Europe.”
Among the keynote week’s events is the “We Are Here, HEAR” Exhibition and Show, which will take place on the TUS Athlone Campus and in the TUS Limerick School of Art and Design (LSAD). Both events will showcase the voices and experiences of people seeking refuge in Ireland. The core exhibition will run outside reception in the Athlone campus for the week, providing an emotionally powerful collection of photographs and stories, while at LSAD former Syrian TV host Kinda Nassli will speak of her discovery of Frank McCourt’s Angela’s ashes as a refugee in Ireland.
Speaking ahead of the launch of Refugee Week, TUS President Prof. Vincent Cunnane said, “We are proud allies to refugees, asylum seekers and migrants and welcome them into our university community. The arrival of people from Ukraine to Ireland seeking refuge has made us all more aware of the lives of refugees amongst us.
He continued, “TUS International Refugee Week offers us a chance to step into the shoes of those seeking sanctuary and see the world as they do, albeit briefly, to better understand the barriers and inequities faced. The week’s events will shine a light on their plight, but it will also be the impetus for meaningful dialogue on Direct Provision and the steps we can take to support those in need.”