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Enactus UL awarded European Funding to integrate refugees and asylum seekers



Enactus UL pictured above (before social distancing) develop projects that help the lives of people in our community and work to create a better, more sustainable world! 


Enactus UL awarded European Funding to integrate refugees and asylum seekers

By I Love Limerick correspondent Mary Caroline McCarthy




Enactus UL

Enactus UL awarded European funding to integrate refugees and asylum seekers to the community through a portfolio of different initiatives.

University of Limerick’s Enactus communities project ‘ReStart’ has been awarded European funding to help integrate refugees and asylum seekers to the local community through a portfolio of different initiatives.  

Enactus is a national organisation that’s aim is to tackle the problems of today whilst creating the leaders of tomorrow. Their mission is to empower third level students to become the socially conscious leaders of tomorrow and to enact positive social change using social entrepreneurial business models.

Enactus UL is a community of students, University staff, and businesspeople in the University of Limerick working together to deal with different social issues using entrepreneurial and business ideas. It is about making projects sustainable, constantly sticking to a triple bottom line that is People, Planet, Profit.

Enactus UL has been representing UL within the Enactus Ireland network since 2012.

The ReStart initiative aims to integrate International Protection Applicants to the local community through a portfolio of different initiatives.  

Such as ‘ReStart Cooking’ which has traditional dishes from International Protection Applicant home countries are cooked and sold at a stall in the weekly Tuesday market in UL, and the ‘ReStart Gardening’ which enables International Protection Applicants to enhance their agricultural skills and integrate with the local community.

The ReStart initiative has been awarded a grant of €9,000 from the European Students Union, through the Together, Moving Forward programmes supported by the Open Society Foundations. This programme supports student-led actions and projects around Europe aimed at breaking educational and societal barriers, and to amplify the voice of students advocating for a better perception of EU citizens toward migration challenges.

Since 2016 the European Student Union (ESU) Together moving Forward initiative has supported 47 projects across 20 countries. This year they selected nine other projects, including the ReStart initiative, by Europe.

This funding enables Enactus UL to provide access to education for International Protection Applicants living in direct provision. While also enabling them to grow the ReStart initiative, working towards their core objective of community integration and inclusion.


According to the ESU website, there have been two previous projects from Ireland selected for the grant, however, Enactus UL is the first to receive this support as an organisation outside Dublin.

In the year 2019/2020 ReStart has directly impacted the lives of 311 International Protection Applicants and local community members have worked with nine direct provision centres across five counties and have helped two IPA’s secure scholarships to the University of Limerick.

Co-Project Leader, Katie Coughlan, in response to receiving the grant, has said, “We are looking forward to being able to further grow our impact this year thanks to the support of the ESU. We have some very exciting plans for the next few months and will have opportunities for local community members to get involved in the social enterprise too! You can follow our journeys on social media across all platforms.”

In other Enactus UL news, Enactus UL students have secured seed funding and a place on a much coveted corporate enterprise programme.  The announcement came after student teams from across Ireland battled it out in a virtual pitch event last week to win a stake in €10,000 of seed funding and a place on the Enactus & Citi Pathways to Progress Programme.

Two groups of Enactus students from the University of Limerick were amongst the winning projects. The projects called ‘Any Time of the Month’ and ‘KleanBeans’ look to address period poverty amongst youths in Ireland and to reduce the number of coffee grounds going to waste and to recycle the waste to create exfoliation skincare products targeted at teenagers.

Now in its fourth year, the Pathways to Progress initiative is a key element of the partnership between Citi Foundation and Enactus Ireland. The initiative calls on third-level students to develop an idea for a project that will empower young people between the ages of 16 and 24 who are from disadvantaged urban areas around Ireland.

The Limerick Students who progressed through to the programme will present their final projects to a judging panel at a showcase event in April with a further €4,000 seed funding available for the winner and €2,000 for the runner-up.

We at I Love Limerick wish them well in their future endeavors!


For more about Enactus, go HERE

For more stories on the University of Limerick, go HERE

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.