First Sunday Meeting April 2nd – Life in Limbo
At our April 2nd First Sunday Meeting Ellie Kisyombe will explain the challenges facing those in direct provision and why the system needs to end. A native of Malawi, Kisyombe is seeking asylum in Ireland and has been in the direct provision system for almost seven years.
Kisyombe began volunteering with the Irish Refugee Council, where she has campaigned for changes to the direct provision system such as allowing the preparation and cooking of their own food.
In 2016, in association with food writer Michelle Darmody, she set up the Our Table pop-up café at the Project Arts Centre in Temple Bar, where asylum seekers cooked and sold food in an effort to highlight the restrictive conditions experienced in direct provision.
Through this initiative, she came to the attention of renowned chef and food writer Darina Allen, who offered her an internship at Ballymaloe Cookery School.
Kisyombe now lives in a direct provision centre in Dublin with her son and daughter, who are being cared for by her cousin and sister while she is in Ballymaloe. As an asylum seeker, she is unable to work and had to get special permission to take up the intern opportunity in Ballymaloe.
As conversations on refugees and migrants were heightened globally last year due to the continued humanitarian crisis unfolding in the Mediterranean, it is clear that the plight of the migrant and refugee remains the plight of our time.
Previous speakers include:
- Sabina Brennan, Trinity College Dublin
- Justin McKenna
- Fachtna Roe
- Philomena McAteer and Siobhán Ward: Trinity College, Department of Anatomy
- Colin White, Irish Kidney Association
- Karen McHugh of Doras Luimní
- Broden Giambrone, TENI (Transgender Equality Network Ireland)
- Shane Downer, ArcAdoption
- Denis Robinson and Mike Garde of the Irish National School Trust
- Dr Hugo Newman
- Willie Collins PhD, M Sc CCDC, Addiction Specialist
- Monnine Griffith, Director of Marriage Equality
- Helen Byrne of Mindfulness.ie
- Brian Whiteside, HAI Director of Ceremonies
- Judge Catherine McGuinness
- Proinsias de Rossa MEP
- Rebecca O’Neill, Dublin Skeptics in the Pub
- Dr Kevin Mitchell,Trinity Neuroscientist
- Professor David McConnell, Honorary President HAI
- Brian McClinton, Humani
- Rachel Moran, SPACE International
- Fergus Finlay, the Barnardos Charity
- Tom Curran, Exit International Ireland
- Tom Arnold, Chair of the Constitutional Convention
- Professor Ivana Bacik, Trinity College Dublin
- Paul O’Donoghue, Irish Skeptics Society
- Brendan Sheeran
- Prof. Terry Eagleton
- Dr. John De Courcy Ireland
- Dr. Helena Sheehan
- Patrick Semple