The overall objective of the programme was to welcome and ensure the positive integration of 15 Rohingya refugee families in Carlow. Community integration saw the development of a range of community initiatives: sports, leadership training, women’s empowerment, art projects, theatre, World Hijab Day, the drafting of a cookery book, informal network supports, and a pre-school summer camp. Community and education integration supports for children and young people were developed in order to ensure their participation, full integration across education levels and sense of belonging within the community.
Emphasis was placed on the development of relationships of trust and belonging, and the integration of the families into the wider community, taking their level of spoken English, family support, gender, age-related and individual needs and preferences into account. A collaborative approach among all stakeholders and support services was adopted: an interagency steering group was established to co-ordinate services and a network of befrienders was created to help welcome the Rohingya families and give them assistance with day-to-day life in town.
The project was implemented in 2008 – 2011 (UNHCR Resettlement Programme) and 2011 – Current (SICAP, Social Inclusion and Community Activation Plan, Carlow Integration Forum) in Carlow Town.