Welcoming the Stranger

As a contribution to the  Dialogue on Faith and Protection convened by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees the following summary of some of the involvements with refugees and asylum seekers by the Edmund Rice Network around the globe was prepared and submitted.

Edmund Rice Network Australia

Edmund Rice Refugee Service (Melbourne)

“The Edmund Rice Centre provides Homework Help and tuition, one-to-one in a communal setting. The volunteer tutors are largely senior students from 20 Edmund Rice Schools and other schools across and beyond Melbourne. The Centre is open to all Refugees and recently arrived youth, regardless of background, race or creed. It is inclusive of all peoples.”

Edmund Rice Centre for Justice and Community Education (Sydney)

The Edmund Rice Centre is involved in a range of projects and activities across the four areas of its operation in research, community education, advocacy and networking. One of its priorities is in ‘Servicing the needs of Refugees and Asylum Seekers’ by

  • Providing help and support for Asylum Seekers and Refugees
  • Fostering and advancing the cause of asylum seekers and refugees
  • Promoting and furthering the Congregation in its works on behalf of the needy and the disadvantaged
  • Encouraging and supporting the development of direct services to asylum seekers and refugees
  • Assisting persons who are experiencing financial disadvantage by reason of their circumstances

Some results of the centre’s research can be found at the following link:


Edmund Rice Centre Mirrabooka (Perth)


“The Edmund Rice Centre Mirrabooka Inc. is a non-government, incorporated, not-for-profit, charitable organisation and a ministry of the Trustees of the Christian Brothers Oceania. The Edmund Rice Centre was established in March 1998 to support Humanitarian Entrants and Indigenous families through the provision of educational programs and community development activities.”

  • These include:
    • English as a Second Language, Computer skills, Cooking, Sewing and Art/Craft classes
    • After school and weekend Youth activities
    • Women’s groups
    • Social events for families
    • Lifeskills for living in Australia Education in household management and family care for recently arrived Humanitarian entrants
    • Driver Education for adult Humanitarian Entrants
    • Generalist casework, referral and advocacy services to Humanitarian entrants and migrants in the North Metropolitan area

The Edmund Rice Centre seeks to empower people through

  • Education (refugees, the indigenous, staff members, volunteers and students);
  • The quality of their presence with respectful and right relationships;
  • The development of networks within the community and between Church groups.

Edmund Rice Network Ireland

Integration and Support Unit (ISU) (Waterford)

“The Integration and Support Unit (ISU) at Mount Sion was established by The Edmund Rice International Heritage Centres (ERIHC) to respond to the needs of refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants in Waterford. It was opened to the public on September 4th 2006.” (A joint project of the Christian Brothers and Presentation Brothers)

“The ISU is providing a wide variety of information including the asylum process, Employment Law and legal advice.”

“We are also providing English classes to 40 to 50 refugees through Integrate Ireland English Language. We are also providing English Classes to 15 to 20 Asylum seekers through Volunteer Teachers. The English Language have helped the refugees and asylum seekers in getting through difficulties in Language, which is very important for them to survive, integrate and get work in Ireland. They are able to converse better with Irish people.”

See attached document “FBOs Good Practice 2013” for more information

Edmund Rice Network England

“Revive” Manchester

The Edmund Rice Network


Revive is a project of the Spiritans (Holy Ghost fathers) working in partnership with Caritas Diocese of Salford providing practical support to refugees and those seeking asylum.

Members of the Edmund Rice Network, both Brothers and lay, and Sixth Form students from our schools help to run the Revive drop-in centre in Lower Kersal, Salford.

See attached document “FBOresponseUNHCR” for more information

Edmund Rice International


Edmund Rice International (ERI) is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) committed to working for children and young people who are marginalised because of poverty, lack of access to education, legal status, environmental degradation, or involvement in armed conflict.

We work in partnership with other faith-based groups in the promotion of peace and justice. Our work involves engagement with the change-makers at the international level in order to bring issues and situations to the attention of the international community at the United Nations in New York and Geneva as we seek shared solutions to the issues affecting the lives of the most vulnerable people on our planet.

Issues relating to asylum seekers and refugees have been part of submissions put forward through several mechanisms of the UN:-

Submission re the plight of guest-workers as part of the UPR of the United States


Edmund Rice International (ERI) put forward a submission to the Committee on the Convention on the Rights of the Child for the review of Australia based on evidence collected the Edmund Rice Centre (Sydney) staff that visited Afghanistan in February/March 2012.”



In a statement to the Human Rights Council on the occasion of the adoption of the UPR Report for the United Kingdom, ERI again raised the plight of asylum seekers whose claims are rejected. (http://www.edmundriceinternational.org/2012/09/eri-seeks-action-following-upr-of-the-united-kingdom/)

Information compiled by Ashley Scully, ERI intern, July 2013

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