Ascend is pleased to announce that the Irish government has granted 20 visas for our Ascend members and their dependents. These visas grant residency within Ireland for 3 years, with the opportunity to apply for citizenship after this time.
A significant number of actors have come together to make this happen. Our huge thanks must go to the Irish government and civil servants who mobilized within days of being approached. Friends of Ascend in Ireland - most notably Anne McNamara and Andrea Martin who have spearheaded this effort. Thanks also to the generosity and open heartedness of the Irish public. Support groups sprang up across the country to lobby the government and offer support.
Attention must now turn to the future of those granted visas. As they settle in Ireland, we are asking for help in two ways:
Short term volunteers to help as the Ascend group settle in Ireland. This will include accompanying them to appointments and health check ups.
Financial support to contribute to the costs of rent and other living expenses over the first two years as these Afghan women and families settle into new lives in Ireland. Initially, our Ascend group will be given temporary accommodation in the homes of some very generous private individuals.