Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin launches fundraiser for children in direct provision 1 week ago

Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin launches fundraiser for children in direct provision

"I can't imagine how difficult it must be for these families..."

Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin has set up a fundraiser to help children living in direct provision.

The broadcaster is hoping to raise money to pay for essential supplies for families who are seeking asylum in Ireland.

Many of these families, who are living in emergency accommodation like hotels, do not have access to essential childcare products such as nappies and baby food.

Without a PPS card, parents are unable to claim a child allowance or get a medical card, leaving many of them without access to necessary items, or having to pay for them themselves.

Ní Shúilleabháin said that she set up the fundraiser to try and help the babies and children living in such situations.

"To try to care for and nurture your child without basic necessities and without the support of a wider network of family and friends is incredibly difficult," she said.

"As a parent, I can't imagine how difficult it must be for these families, who arrived in our country seeking asylum from a variety of situations.

"For those in emergency accommodation in isolated areas, such as Portsalon in Donegal, the issue is compounded even further due to their location."

A recent investigation by the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland (MASI) found that many families seeking asylum are not being provided with essential products.

Although families living in direct provision centres are provided with nappies and baby food by the Department of Justice's Reception & Integration Agency, they must use their weekly allowance to purchase "non-essential" items such as baby clothes, soothers, and buggies.

MASI has said they are "appalled" by the lack of support asylum seekers living in emergency accommodation are receiving.

"The Children's Ombudsman has said that no child should grow up in direct provision," they said in a statement.

"The Ombudsman said that direct provision is wholly unsuitable for long term stays."

Ní Shúilleabháin is hoping to raise at least €5,000 for MASI to help them buy essential baby products like nappies and baby food, as well as those deemed non-essential.

They will also use the money to pay for school and education supplies, as well as clothing for all babies and young children.

You can access the GoFundMe page here.