Intercultural and Refugee Programme


Society in Ireland, both North and South, is facing challenges regarding the acceptance of ethnic, faith, linguistic and cultural diversity as well as the acknowledgement of new inclusive multiple identities and facilitating effective integration. To respond constructively to polarised opinions about migrants and other minority groups, there is an urgent need to promote the positive benefits of a more diverse and inclusive society. Careful listening through dialogue processes can help key stakeholders and the wider public understand the everyday experiences of minority groups and respond appropriately to their needs. Through facilitated dialogue community leaders, service providers, policy and decision makers in relevant sectors, gain an insight into, and an understanding of, the views and experiences of minority groups. This helps to inform their future communication and work with these communities while also serving to combat stereotyping, prejudice, racism and discrimination.


Programme Summary

Established in 2016, our Intercultural and Refugee Programme seeks to build on Glencree’s experience in providing opportunities for people from divided communities to listen to the experience of ‘the other’, reduce prejudice, and develop constructive intercultural connections and collaboration. The programme focuses on facilitating intercultural dialogue to bring about more effective integration. These dialogues take place in safe spaces using creative methodologies and wellbeing practices that help individuals to find their voice and engage with others.

Our Intercultural and Refugee programme adheres to the following core values: we honour resilience and attentiveness to trauma; we foster authentic expression and voice; we operate with dignity and mutual respect; we encourage autonomy and empowerment. Across our projects, our team undertake quality trust and relationship building with individuals and groups who may experience exclusion and discrimination in their everyday lives.

Since its inception the Programme has focused on key project areas with the goals of:

  1. Building mutual understanding across linguistic, ethnic, faith and cultural differences through engagement and dialogue
  2. Facilitating refugees, migrants and other minority communities to identify their own needs and to explore shared experiences
  3. Supporting individuals from refugee, migrant and minority backgrounds to engage in intercultural dialogue with stakeholders and those from majority communities, to promote effective integration and combat racism and Islamophobia

Empowering - Building Relationships - Facilitating Dialogue

Current Programme Activities

'Promoting Community & Intercultural Relations through Dialogue and Encounter’

Building on the work of the Glencree Belonging & Identity project, supporting the government’s National Migrant Integration Strategy, and advancing the work to strengthen social inclusion and build diversity at local level, Glencree's ‘Promoting Community & Intercultural Relations through Dialogue and Encounter' (CIR) project aims to support improved community and intercultural relations between host communities and diverse ethnic and faith groups.

'Hope and Ambition'

Since 2019, our Hope & Ambition project has centered on our work with women asylum seekers living in a Direct Provision Centre in Clondalkin, Dublin. The aims of this work include relationship building, emotional support and building connections that facilitate inclusion and integration.

'Glencree Welcomes Refugees'

The Glencree Welcomes Refugees Project provides group well-being sessions for Ukrainian refugees and people seeking International Protection and those who volunteer and work with/care for refugees, primarily using Capacitar Multicultural Trauma Healing self-care practices.

Past Programme Activities

‘Belonging and Identity in the Second Generation: Integration and Anti-Racism Dialogues with Hard to Reach Minority Communities’

In 2020 Glencree launched ‘Belonging and Identity in the Second Generation’. Building on Glencree’s earlier work on the Muslim Communities Dialogue Project (funded by IHREC), this project was designed to support the implementation of the ‘National Migrant Integration Strategy 2017-2020’ in line with the Irish Government’s obligations under the UN Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD). The project was funded by the Integration Unit, initially within the Department of Justice and Equality (DJE) and subsequently under the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY).

Project Activities:

  • Glencree built on existing contacts to develop a network of interested participants for dialogue work through outreach to communities experiencing stereotyping, discrimination and racism.
  • A Project Advisory Group, comprised of skilled individuals from diverse faith and ethnic backgrounds together with Glencree staff and Board members, was established to support the development of the project outreach and dialogue work.
  • Glencree facilitated a series of safe space dialogues with second generation Irish Muslims, their parents and families, and with African Irish communities, around the issues of belonging and multiple identities, anti-racism and intercultural integration.
  • The active involvement of key stakeholders, including An Garda Síochána, Local Authorities, Local Area Partnerships and Public Participation Networks, were also a feature of these dialogue processes.

‘Deepening Understanding on Human Rights and Equality for the Muslim Communities of Ireland’ Dialogues

Funded by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC), this 2018 project engaged diverse groups within the Muslim communities in the Dublin region in a series of dialogues on human rights and equality issues, and connected them with key stakeholders.

Project Activities:

  • A Series of Dialogue Events that focused on:
    • Promoting equality - how to access legal assistance through IHREC when combating discrimination
    • Islamophobia in Ireland – how to deal with hostility, threats, verbal abuse, physical assault, discrimination in the workplace, education and accessing services
    • The role of the Garda Diversity and Integration Office in building relationships with Muslims and other minority groups at local level
    • Identifying and discussing the human rights and equality issues most relevant for Muslims. These issues included: employment; education; the position of Muslim women in Irish society; perceptions of Muslims as portrayed in the media; representation of Muslims in decision making and politics; everyday Islamophobia and racism; religious freedom and faith issues; community integration
  •   ‘Human Rights and Equality’ Dialogue Day

This dialogue day welcomed Muslims from diverse communities, representatives of the Department of Justice and Equality, the Department of Education and Skills, and representatives from the world of education and media. A talk on anti-Muslim racism was followed by a discussion of key issues from which emerged 3 powerful messages:

    • The need to recognise the diversity within the Muslim communities of Ireland
    • The need for greater public representation of Muslims in decision making positions in Irish society
    • The need for an official response to Islamophobia/anti-Muslim racism in Ireland

    'Wellbeing and Intercultural Communication'

    Funded by the Tony Ryan Trust, this 2016/2019 project focused on trust building work for refugee and migrant women leaders, and others working with them.

    Project Activities:

    • International Women’s Day hosted at Glencree for migrants and women from marginalised communities
    • Ongoing series of Wellbeing and Intercultural events for women from diverse backgrounds
    • A Workshop delivered by Dr Patricia Cane, founder of Capacitor International, that focused on ‘Capacitar for Refugees’ training for practitioners from around Ireland
    • Monthly Wellbeing mornings in Direct Provision Centres
    • Glencree Annual Summer Event - participation of speakers and performers from refugee, migrant and other minority ethnic backgrounds at the annual event, with break-out sessions to examine intercultural and migration issues



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Dialogues with Muslim Communities of Ireland Report

The 2018 Muslim Dialogues report identifies the key findings by participants in a series of dialogue events with women, men and young people of diverse Irish Muslim backgrounds living in the Dublin region.

Download the Full Report

Podcast 2: Belonging & Identity in the Second Generation

This podcast talks about diversity, integration and what it is like to be a young Muslim in Ireland during Ramadan and Eid in this time of Covid19. Joining Glencree’s Intercultural & Refugee Programme Manager, Nadette Foley, are Fardus Sultan from the Belonging & Identity Project Advisory Group and Mohammed Elsayed from the Under One Tent Initiative.

Programme Bulletin

Click on the button to subscribe to our Glencree Intercultural & Refugee Programme Bulletin for regular updates on our programme work as well as news and services from across the community.

Project Team

Nadette Foley

Programme Manager

Nadette brings over 30 years’ experience in the area of human rights, refugee support, intercultural integration, and inter-faith work. While living in Pakistan in the late 1980's Nadette worked with Afghan refugee communities. During the 1990s she was Director of the Irish Refugee Council, and joined the Board of the Refugee Agency responsible for the resettlement of the Bosnian and Vietnamese refugees. As CEO of the Multi-Cultural Resource Centre - Northern Ireland, Nadette facilitated consultations between minority ethnic and faith groups, and statutory agencies during the introduction of new Equality and Human Rights legislation that resulted from the Good Friday Agreement. She continued her inter-faith and intercultural work with the Jesuit Refugee Service and the Dublin Multi-Cultural Resource Centre in Dublin before joining the team to lead Glencree's Intercultural and Refugee Programme.

At Glencree, Nadette has worked with colleagues and partners from diverse communities to develop intercultural dialogue work with Irish Muslim and African Irish communities to identify the issues of concern to them. She has widened the network of those from diverse backgrounds, including those seeking protection under the UN Refugee Convention, who work with the Intercultural and Refugee Programme. Nadette has also established networks and relationships with statutory agencies, local authorities and voluntary and community groups to engage them in intercultural dialogue work. She has built working relationships with individual artists from many disciplines who facilitate creative intercultural dialogue workshops and produce videos, publications and other creative media. In 2022, Nadette worked with Glencree Board members to design the Glencree Welcome Refugees Project to respond to the increased number of refugees being hosted in Counties Dublin and Wicklow. The ethos and focus of this work was inspired by the refugee wellbeing work which has been developed through the Intercultural & Refugee Programme ‘Hope and Ambition’ Project since 2017.

Louise Keating

Project Lead, Hope & Ambition Project

Louise has a background in youth and community work, training and facilitation, intercultural integration and homelessness. She has also been engaged with migrant and refugee issues for over 20 years. Louise has worked with Foroige, Comhlamh, South County Dublin Partnership and Focus Ireland. She spent two years in both Kenya and Rwanda before returning to Ireland where she worked for the Irish Refugee Council. She later managed an Intercultural Drop-in Centre established by Tallaght Intercultural Action. Louise holds a Degree in Social Science, a Diploma in Community Work and an MA in Cross Professional Supervision.

Patty Abozaglo

Trauma and Wellness Consultant, Glencree Welcomes Refugees Project

Living in Ireland for the past 27 years, Patty is a Peruvian human rights lawyer and international development professional with vast experience in peacebuilding and approaches to dealing with trauma in conflict scenarios.

She worked for Trocaire for 17 years managing their Colombia Programme, as a Peacebuilding and Human Rights Advisor and Regional Liaison Officer for East Africa. As Adjunct Faculty of the Maynooth University Institute (2014-2020) she introduced a trauma sensitive lens and used dance and body movement in mediation training. She also developed research on collective trauma in conflict settings. In the past Patty has also been connected to Glencree's work in Colombia.

Patty works with a trauma sensitive lens and uses innovative approaches in her work in Ireland and internationally including the Capacitar Multicultural Wellness and Trauma Healing Programme, and Laban Dance and Body Movement. In 2013 and 2014, she led the Capacitar and Laban Dance Project in Colombia, where she facilitated numerous workshops with internally displaced women affected by gender based violence and with communities affected by mining, amongst others.

Patty now brings all of this experience to 'Glencree Welcomes Refugees', a project of the Glencree Intercultural and Refugee Programme.

Amina Hadj Ameur

Programme Administrator

Amina has a background in Political Science and International Relations from Izmir University of Economics in Turkey together with an MS in International Humanitarian Action from UCD and Uppsala University. She has worked with various organisations from Turkey, Jordan and the UK including Trust Consultancy and Development, UNRWA, Concordis international and the Business and Human Rights Resource Center. Amina has worked on various thematic issues such as: human rights, migration and peacebuilding in Central Africa and the MENA region. She has also worked as a volunteer in Brazil under AIESEC with NGOs Casa Shalon and Harpias focusing on UN Sustainable Development Goal 13 on Climate Action. Amina is trilingual, fluent in Arabic, French and English.


Capacitar Multicultural Wellbeing Programme

Nadette and Louise are qualified Capacitar Ireland Tutors. They have trained in, and facilitated, capacitar practices for over 10 years. Capacitar is an international network committed to uniting people across borders in solidarity, understanding, reconciliation and peace. Practitioners use holistic wellness practices based on indigenous traditions that help people tap into the wisdom of their own mind, body and spirit.

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