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This scheme is an excellent initiative by Crosscare. By bringing people from new communities into the heart of the Irish political system the scheme provides an opportunity for … new communities to gain first-hand experience of our political system and allows them to contribute to the functioning of our democracy. To my mind, it is crucial that the Irish political system fully engages, in a truly interactive manner, with our new communities. There is huge potential among our young migrant population and I believe that not only they, but we also, can benefit from their participation in schemes of this type.

Minister of State, Joe Costello T.D.




Thank you for all your help … Your professional advice and caring attitude really helped us at a time of great stress. When we had nowhere to go, you were there to help us and we will always be grateful for that ... I’d just like to say thank you and keep up the good work.

Client from the walk-in clinic




It was really good training. It provided a lot of skills for interpreters and information officers.


Volunteer Interpreter

The Migrant-led integration: Participation, Representation and Action project is managed by Crosscare Migrant Project.  
The project involves three different initiatives:
1. Provision of information and advocacy services to migrants in vulnerable situations. The project offers two Chinese-language clinics every week in Dublin city centre.  These walk-in clinics are provided with the assistance of volunteer interpreters.

2. The project has developed an integration-focussed website, www.livinginireland.ie.  The website is a guide to all aspects of life in Ireland.  It is available in five languages.  The website hosts a wide variety of content including videos.  The website is developed with the assistance of 12 Third Country Nationals from various backgrounds and nationalities, all of whom live in Ireland. 

3. The project also supports a policy-working group of Third Country people.  This group meets on a regular basis to look at issues identified through the walk-in clinics and website work.  The group’s members consider what actions or work can be undertaken to promote solutions to these issues.  The project has also set up the scheme, Opening Power to Diversity, where Third Country Nationals ‘shadow’ the daily work of TDs to see how the political system works.  The aim of this scheme is to promote migrants’ participation and interest in politics.


This project completed in June 2013.

Case Study
Our experience of working with migrants is that people without access to information, or people who find it difficult to understand information, are more likely to become marginalised. The simple idea behind our ‘walk-in’ clinics is to offer support to people who may not be able to engage with the mainstream system. This helps them to avoid problems or pitfalls. The information and support we provide also helps people to integrate and to contribute more meaningfully to Irish society.
Our walk-in clinics offer a unique service to migrants. We focus on the Chinese community (mainly in Dublin) as we have good contacts and a positive history of engaging with this group. Our clinics are aimed at people with little or no English-language skills. Our information and advocacy worker meets with Chinese people to provide information and support, and in some cases, to advocate for them. This is carried out with the support of volunteer interpreters. There is no cost for using our service. We also work with other organisations and refer our clients to them where appropriate. This helps to ensure the best results for our service users.
Every volunteer is a native Chinese-speaker. They have usually experienced many of the issues our clients are facing. We support our volunteers with training and guidance. We have also developed Chinese-language videos and leaflets that give non-English speakers clear, easy to understand information.
The success of the clinics is down to the quality of the service offered and the help of our many volunteers. Most new clients hear about our service through word of mouth. The Sun Emerald newspaper is also supportive of our project and it has published articles and features on our service.
The issues that arise at our clinics are recorded and monitored. We ensure that these issues inform the content of the Living in Ireland website and the actions of our policy working group. In this way, we hope to make information available to more people and to help the wider migrant community.