Words: Ellen Kenny
The Abolish Direct Provision Campaign organised the project for Asylum Seekers staying in the Address Hotel.
The Abolish Direct Provision Campaign launched the Pregnancy Kit Project last week for mothers and babies staying in the Address Hotel Direction Provision Centre.
Members of the project are collecting donations from Connolly Train Station everyday. Requested donations include maternity clothes and breast pads for mothers, and nappies, coats, sleep suits and baby oils for infants. They are also looking for prams, changing mats and clothes for older children.
Abolish Direct Provision launched this project after hearing about the inhumane conditions mothers and babies face in the Address Hotel Provision Centre.
One mother in the Address Hotel reported that she was not given money to feed her young children. They can only eat the dishes provided to them by the hotel, a meal consisting mostly of “spicy” rice.
Along with this unsustainable diet, the mother also reported that she only owns one pair of underwear as she does not have money to buy more. The Address Hotel does not provide residents with underwear or sanitary products.
Asylum seekers in direct provision are entitled to 38.80 euros for adults and 29.80 euros for children each week. They must be legally registered with a birth certificate and PPS number before they can receive financial assistance.
While delays in registration are expected, recently there has been a complete halt in registration for many refugees. According to Abolish Direct Provision, there are over 650 women of colour in the Address Hotel Direct Provision Centre who have been waiting for a PPS number for “months”.
Minister for Children Roderic O’Gormon said that delays and issues in direct provision are an “inevitable” effect from the influx of Ukrainian refugees in Ireland.
There are nearly 12,000 people living in direct provision, including 2,800 children. This is an increase of more than 40 per cent on the same time last year.
Abolish Direct Provision have stated that they will continue the Pregnancy Kit Project until the Department of Social Protection and the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth provide mothers and children with PPS numbers that will entitle them to their allowance.
Those who wish to support the Project can follow @AbolishDirect on Twitter for updates on when and where they can donate. They can click here to donate to the campaign.
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