Community Sponsorship is a form of resettlement that empowers ordinary people to come together and welcome a refugee family or individual to Ireland, and directly support them to rebuild their lives in safety. It’s a practical and powerful way to respond to the global refugee crisis, that enriches communities and changes lives.
Are you interested in getting involved?
Sponsorship starts when a group of five or more people form a community sponsorship group, and then submit an application form to the Irish Refugee Protection Programme to welcome a refugee family or individual.
Community sponsorship primarily focuses on resettling Syrian refugees referred to the Irish Government by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. Since 2022, sponsorship groups have also supported Afghan refugees who arrived on humanitarian visas allocated by the Irish Government.
Each group supports a family or individual from the moment of arrival up to a period of 18 months. Sponsorship groups help source accommodation and also fundraise to help support the family or individual to settle into the community.
“I wrote up a list of about ten people I knew in the community. I told them, this is the idea I had and would you be interested in doing it? They all said yes, absolutely. The thing is, like most people, we had no agenda. We just wanted to help people.”
A fully supported programme
From the very beginning, new community sponsorship groups are matched with a Regional Support Organisation that assists with every step of the sponsorship journey. A full step-by-step training course is also provided through The Open Community’s interactive learning centre and a range of resources are available on an online support bank. Groups also have access to a national peer support network and regular events to meet other sponsors and groups.
There are four stages on the Community Sponsorship Journey and at each stage there is a wealth of support and resources to help you:
1. Getting Started
Work together with a Regional Support Organisation to find like-minded people and form a sponsorship group.
2. Planning for arrival
Welcome and support a refugee family to your community.
4. Ending Sponsorship
Planning for the end of the sponsorship commitment after the 18-month period.
To find out how to get started
Sponsorship is life changing. For refugees arriving in Ireland, sponsorship provides a ready-made network of support that helps them to get settled in quicker and rebuild their lives. Time and time again, at a local level, we see communities strengthened and empowered through supporting refugees, and sponsors often say it is the most meaningful thing they have ever done.
Regional Support Organisations
34 Paul Street, Cork,
Tel. (021) 427 3594
Cork, Kerry, Waterford, Wexford, Kilkenny, Carlow, Laois
Central Buildings, 51a O’Connell Street, Limerick. Tel. (061) 310328
Limerick, Tipperary, Clare
37 Killarney Street, Dublin 1.
Tel. +353 1 764 5854
Dublin, Louth, Leitrim, Sligo, Cavan, Donegal, Monaghan
16 Merrion Square, Dublin 2.
Tel. (01) 642 4600
Meath, Kildare, Wicklow, Westmeath, Offaly, Galway, Mayo, Longford, Roscommon
Change lives today – help start a sponsorship group in your area.
You can explore more inspiring stories of welcome by following the link: