The civil war in Syria has seen unimaginable suffering for millions of people, as they face the effects of frontline conflict and the subsequent impact on their lives of displacement from their homes and communities.

All of this has brought the vital work of our refugee teams here into even sharper relief, as we continue to help families to resettle in Northern Ireland and establish new lives for themselves.

How Extern has helped refugees find safety and a new future

One success story in particular has been the Extern Eagles football team, which is comprised of young people from the Syrian refugee community who regularly participate in matches against local teams.

Giving homes and hope

Extern is one of three main delivery partners in the provision of this specialised resettlement support to individuals and families arriving under the UK Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme (VPRS).

Staff are based in Derry/Londonderry, Greater Belfast and the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council areas, and in 2018-19 they worked with a total of 1,637 people.

Hope for the future

Our Refugee Floating Support project continued into 2018-19, with 241 individuals and families being supported with housing, benefits/financial and budgetary management, health, education, legal status, training and employment, family reunification and community integration.

Starting new lives

Our Refugee Resettlement project supported 106 people to settle into their new homes in Co Meath and integrate into the local community.

Since the programme began in 2017, Extern has helped resettle over 136 people, providing a range of tailored supports, aimed at building capacity in both the refugee population and in local authority service providers through:

  • education
  • representation
  • advocacy
  • professional support
  • practical experience