Irish Youth Foundation Response to the Ukrainian Crisis

We are currently facing a humanitarian crisis on a scale never before seen in Ireland. As of 12 April more than 21,000 Ukrainian people have sought sanctuary here. At least 3,800 of those are children – 2,000 Ukrainian children have enrolled in primary school and 1,800 children in secondary schools.

This number will continue to grow – with Minister Norma Foley indicating that there is “no upper limit” on the numbers of children who could travel here.

There has been a rapid response to the crisis across all sectors of Irish society – government, International NGOs, local organisations, and the public.

In addition to this emergency response, we must plan for the future to ensure young people entering Ireland have the supports they need as they settle into their new communities. It is already clear that youth services can and will play a big part in this.

The role of youth services.

Youth services will play a key role in welcoming Ukrainian young people into communities across Ireland. Embedded in those communities and already experienced in working with new arrivals into Ireland they are uniquely placed to support these young people.

How Youth Services Can Help

Educational Support

Providing support through homework clubs to ensure young people have a place to seek extra supports and provide a sense of normalcy against a backdrop of incredible turmoil in their lives.

Safe spaces

With many young people living in emergency accommodation and dealing with traumatic experiences, youth centres provide will provide a safe, calm, and welcoming space for them.

Emotional Wellbeing

Youth centres will provide the support these young people need to connect with their new community, make friends, and reconnect with themselves.

But we must ensure they have the extra supports needed to tackle this crisis.

Services across the country are already stretched as they deal with the aftermath of two years of COVID lockdowns and a cohort of young people who have become disengaged. We were already facing a generation in crisis.

How you can help.

Our focus has not changed. We believe that every young person in Ireland deserves the opportunity to reach their full potential. That now includes thousands of new arrivals to Ireland who we will need support over the coming months and years.

You can help by ensuring youth projects across Ireland have the extra support needed to expand their services so they can play their part in the solution.