Children in Direct Provision – Pictured are Dr John Lannon, CEO of Doras Luimni, Donnah Sibanda Vuma, Founder of ECIYC, Ruth Sikhulekile Ndlovu and Busani Moyo (picture taken before social distancing). Picture: Conor Owens/ilovelimerick.
Every Child is your Child is fighting for Children in Direct Provision Centres to have equal access to school
By I Love Limerick correspondent Mary Caroline McCarthy
In 2020, every country around the world was drastically affected by COVID-19 and Ireland, like many others, continues to suffer the effects of it while being in a third lockdown.
Education has been done mostly remotely through online classrooms and virtual teaching since that time and continues to this day with no dates for a return to school soon. However, there is one group of children who cannot continue their education and are falling through the cracks due to no internet access and these are the children living in direct provision.
Every Child is your Child (ECIYC) is a community group dedicated to bringing people together for a common purpose, which is to empower, motivate, and encourage harmony and interdependence among parents, focusing on those living in Direct Provision. Every Child is your Child (ECIYC) has set up a GoFundMe to raise funds to purchase 1000+ Tablets and internet modems, plus internet subscriptions to provide these children with access to education. They are also accepting physical donations of these items, and asking that companies, businesses, and individuals consider sponsoring a few tablets or internet subscriptions to help change these children’s lives for the better.
Over 1700 children live in Direct Provision. A system which is nothing more than ‘state-sponsored poverty’ as families and individuals (totalling more than 7000 people across Ireland) are forced to live in cramped communal conditions with most people unable to work as the majority of people who live in Direct Provision centres have no right to access employment.
Children living in Direct Provision centres are suffering the most. With parents unable to seek employment, and only €38.60 a week in government support, there are no extra funds for educational items such as schoolbooks, computers, internet access, tablets, or phones for the children to continue their studies remotely which is a requirement for education in the current COVID environment.
Donnah Sibanda Vuma, founder of ECIYC told ilovelimerick why she started Every Child is your Child, “It came about because we realised that it was very difficult for parents living in direct provision to provide back-to-school necessitates for their children on a very low weekly income, so we figured if there is a way we could help is through raising funds and assisting with the purchasing of stationery, uniforms and helping to pay for contribution fees in school.”
Donnah added, “We are fighting to change the conditions for children living in Direct Provision by raising funds to purchase tablets/ipads so that every child has the opportunity to learn. Without Internet access and online capable hardware such as tablets or laptops, these children are losing months of education and will struggle to catch up when schools return to normal.”
To donate to their Go Fund Me, go HERE
For more about Every Child is your Child, go HERE
For more stories on Direct Provision Centre, go HERE
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