Online educational platform for refugees launched in Galway

Photo by SaorEd

A new and free educational platform aimed towards improving the mental health of refugees and migrants has been launched in Galway.

The initiative, SaorED, was officially launched on the 14th of January to provide free access to education and training courses for people living in direct provision in Ireland. 

SaorED offers free access to courses from a primary to an advanced level. Courses in English language, healthcare, information technology (IT) and other career preparation skills are provided. They are available, for the most part, in English, with some offered in Arabic as well. 

The designated website is built on an online platform called Kiron, which is a collaborative project founded by three Irish non-profit organisations; Doras, Dignity Partnership and New Horizon. 

John Lannon, CEO of Doras, said “the whole concept or notion of enforced idleness that people experience when they are in direct provision in Ireland where they don’t have access to employment because of the location they are living in, or they don’t have access to education has quite a detrimental effect on mental health”. 

According to Kerry McCarthy, SaorED Coordinator, the platform’s aim is not only to offer free online education but also to improve the mental state of users while they learn wherever they are and at their own pace.

“A lot of the time, due to not having anything else to do, or their work permit has not come through yet, or they can’t find work, these courses help with getting them more comfortable in Ireland,”

“The platform is also curated to mental heath which a lot of people in direct provision are suffering from” Ms Kerry said. 

The initiative that started last week now has more than 600 users in Ireland, and many of its programmes are exclusively offered to people who have international protection. A certificate is provided to them on completion. 

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