The Digital Diaspora –new resource to support Irish emigrants
Crosscare’s Irish Diaspora Support Project has launched a comprehensive new online platform to support, inform, and connect Ireland’s global diaspora at diasporasupport.ie.
This is a significant step in strengthening the ties that bind diverse Irish communities worldwide in the digital age. The new website was officially unveiled today by Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs with responsibility for International Development and Diaspora Sean Fleming, TD.
Minister Fleming welcomed the development, saying in a statement, “Our people, home and abroad, represent this island’s greatest asset and the Irish government is committed to supporting the Irish diaspora and to working alongside emigrant support organisations in providing key services to the Irish abroad. While over the past twenty years, the Irish Government’s Emigrant Support Programme (ESP) has supported Irish community organisations all over the world, we recognise that there is also important diaspora engagement work being done at home. Crosscare is one of the Government’s key Irish-based strategic partners in that regard and we have been happy to provide financial support to the organisation through the ESP for a number of years. Through its Irish Diaspora Support Project, Crosscare has played a pivotal role in ensuring that the needs of Irish people who have been living abroad but have decided to return home are met. As Minister for Diaspora, I look forward to continuing to support Crosscare’s invaluable work.”
With emigration on the rise, (figures from the Central Statistics Office released Monday, 25 September 2023 estimate that 30,500 Irish citizens emigrated in the year to April 2023), this is an invaluable resource for this growing cohort – providing them with up-to-date information and assistance on the opportunities and challenges involved in what, for many, are life-changing decisions.
Diasporasupport.ie also provides vital information to Irish citizens who return to Ireland from abroad, some having spent decades away from home. Of the over 25,000 citizens that move back home each year (CSO estimates 29,600 returned in the year to April 2023), some find themselves returning in crises and in need of extra support.
Crosscare Irish Diaspora Support Project helps those who are leaving and those who are returning access essential services and entitlements, make informed decisions about their migration, and stay connected to their roots. The Dublin-based Project offers personalised support to those most in need and connects with peer organisations that promote the welfare of the Irish diaspora worldwide.
New key features of diasporasupport.ie include:
- Extensive practical information on emigration and return, including checklists and guides to working abroad.
- Referral and contact features for those in need of extra support
- Knowledge hub for peer organisations and consular services, policy and research timeline
- Irish Diaspora Directory
- On-demand training and webinar video library
- Blogs spotlighting global Irish stories, partners, and destination guides
Sarah Owen, Crosscare Irish Diaspora Support Project Leader, said, “Diasporasupport.ie is our offering to the global Irish community. We believe it will be a valuable resource for Irish citizens at all stages of their migration. We aim to ensure that every Irish emigrant feels supported and connected, no matter where they are in the world. We are grateful for the Emigrant Support Programme funding, which made this digital platform possible and is a testament to the Government of Ireland’s dedication to ensuring the welfare of the Irish diaspora.”
The launch of diasporasupport.ie aligns with Crosscare’s mission to serve those most in need with love, respect, and excellence. With this platform, the Crosscare Irish Diaspora Support Project invites the global Irish community to connect and leverage emigration and return information at their fingertips.
To explore and learn more about the Crosscare Irish Diaspora Support Project, visit https://www.diasporasupport.ie.
ABOUT CROSSCARE IRISH DIASPORA SUPPORT PROJECT
Crosscare Irish Diaspora Support Project is a specialised service to empower Ireland’s global diaspora communities at all stages of emigration. Established as a standalone project in 2022, Crosscare Irish Diaspora Support Project provides information and advocacy support to Irish citizens leaving or returning to Ireland, especially those in vulnerable situations. Funded by the Government of Ireland’s Emigrant Support Programme and an initiative of Crosscare, the Project has assisted thousands of Irish people and their families since its inception in 1987.
To learn more or get support, please visit https://www.diasporasupport.ie.
KEY FEATURES OF DIASPORASUPPORT.IE
- Practical Information: The website offers many reputable resources on practical considerations and entitlements related to leaving and returning to Ireland, equipping Irish citizens with reliable information to make migration choices confidently. An interactive working holiday map, checklists, and step-by-step guides are signature components of this information toolkit beneficial to Irish emigrants at every stage of their journey.
- Support Services: Crosscare Irish Diaspora Support Project delivers a wide range of advocacy and consultation supports to Irish citizens emigrating, living abroad, and returning to Ireland. The website provides an overview of the Project’s key service areas, including crisis returns, social welfare (and the Habitual Residence Condition), immigration for non-Irish families, housing, wellness, and more. Furnished with a sophisticated ‘Get Help’ contact/intake form, diasporasupport.ie allows clients and support workers to receive expedited guidance and assistance tailored to unique situations, regardless of location.
- Knowledge Hub: The site provides in-depth resources for Consular Services and partner organisations and highlights the Crosscare Irish Diaspora Support Project’s influential diaspora social policy work. This advocacy is grounded in evidence-based research on issues affecting members of Ireland’s diaspora, whom the Project directly support daily.
- Irish Diaspora Directory: A comprehensive, interactive directory of Irish welfare organisations and groups worldwide, promoting collaboration and plugging Irish abroad into local resources, services, and communities.
- Events and Training: The website features a calendar of events, webinars, and trainings designed to prepare and educate Irish citizens on various topics about emigration and return, fostering personal growth and community cohesion. Organisations that work with the diaspora can also request training specific to them.
- News and Updates: Stay informed about Irish affairs, policy news, Project updates, and diaspora developments through the website’s news section, deepening links among the global Irish community. Blogs on diasporasupport.ie also spotlight peer organisations, the #KnowBeforeYouGo series featuring destination-specific information, and stories directly from members of the diaspora.
CAPTION: Crosscare Irish Diaspora Support Project’s team at their Dublin office. From left: Policy & Outreach Officer Niall Foster, Communications Officer Lucia Guzikowski, Project Leader Sarah Owen, and Client Support Officer Damian Kirwan.
Crosscare Irish Diaspora Support Project
Lucia Guzikowski, Communications Officer