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Projects- Social Inclusion Intercultural Health


HSE South East Community Healthcare - CHO 5 
The HSE Social Inclusion Services in CHO5 have produced four reports focused on intercultural health care work.

1. “The Intercultural Healthcare Pilot Project” Report: A partnership pilot project between the HSE and the Integration and Support Unit (ISU) to develop model of intercultural healthcare with and for Asylum Seekers. The ISU at Mount Sion was established by The Edmund Rice International Heritage Centres (ERIHC) in 2006, to respond to the needs of refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants in the Waterford area.

2. “Towards Care, Compassion, Trust and Learning”: Evaluation for the HSE (CHO 5, the South East) Social Inclusion Dept. on health care and promotion work with the Roma Communities in counties Waterford and Wexford.

3.“The Atelier Roma Men’s Programme”: Evaluation of a workshop/skills based, developmental programme with primary health care and English language module for Roma men.

4. “Intercultural Awareness and Practice in Health and Social Care”: Guide to a model of training developed in HSE (CHO 5, the South East) Social Inclusion Dept. to support staff in service delivery on a “Train the Trainer” basis.

The HSE’s Community Healthcare Organisation Area 5 (the South East), as part of the National Intercultural Health Care Strategy, are aiming to improve the health outcomes for minority and vulnerable communities. In the South East, a number of creative and innovative models of working have been developed that support both service user and service provider and that are designed to address the gaps and barriers preventing equitable health outcomes.

HSE Social Inclusion SECH has also developed a 3 year Intercultural Health Strategy for Roma, Refugees and People Seeking International Protection (2019-2022) which is informed by and aligned to the Second National Intercultural Health Strategy (2018-2023).  The development of this regional strategy involved consultation with members of these groups as well as with agencies and has resulted in a strategy that has clear, achievable and measurable goals  with a reporting structure.  View the strategy here 

HSE Social Inclusion SECH commissioned research by University of Limerick’s Graduate Entry Medical School on the healthcare needs and healthcare access of Syrian Refugees, Roma and people seeking international protection in South East healthcare area in 2019. This research report is available here.

The Model of In-reach Primary Healthcare for Programme Refugees

The Model of “In-reach Primary Healthcare for Programme Refugees” was developed following the Governments decision in 2015 to accept 4,000 Programme Refugees into Ireland. Three Emergency Reception and Orientation Centres (EROC’s) were opened nationally by the Department of Justice & Equality, one of these is Clonea EROC in the South East. 

HSE Social Inclusion in SECH led the development of the model which provides for the delivery of in-reach primary healthcare services in Clonea EROC and the delivery of health education.  The overall aim is to improve the health outcomes for programme refugees by  providing health information and access to health services. 

There are two main sections of the Model;

  •  the context of Programme Refugees coming to Ireland and the response developed by the HSE SECH and
  •  the Health Education Toolkit presented in both English and Arabic.  These tools support self care and management. 

The model was developed working with colleagues from Primary Care, the Community and Voluntary sector, other state agencies and the National and Mid-west Social Inclusion offices. 

The Cork Kerry Refugee Resettlement Project: Online Resources

Navigating health services and community supports can be a difficult and confusing experience for many, especially if English isn't your first language. Any barriers to accessing health services can result in poorer health outcomes and increased social isolation.  

The Cork Kerry Refugee Resettlement Initiative has created online resources designed to ensure that newly resettled refugees across Cork and Kerry can access information and services more easily. The resources are intended to help people navigate the community supports and health services available to them both nationally and locally and include; a website, multi-lingual videos and interactive maps.


Click on this link to access a selection of videos about; calling the emergency services, the Irish primary healthcare system and general community services. Videos are available in Arabic and English.


The Cork Kerry Refugee Resettlement website offers a range of resources and information useful for refugees and those working with them. Including videos, community maps, translated documents and more.

Balseskin Fáilte Project

Open day BalseskinBalseskin 3

The Balseskin Fáilte project is delivered by JRS Ireland in partnership with the HSE National Social Inclusion Office and Balseskin Reception Centre. It provides a range of targeted mental health and wellbeing supports early in the asylum process for recently arrived applicants onsite. This project has supported more than 500 asylum seekers in Balseskin Reception Centre over the past 12 months.

The innovative mental health and wellbeing pilot project was showcased as part of an Open Day in Balseskin Reception Centre on the 31st of May, 2018 Balseskin Open Day Press Release.docx (size 19.4 KB) The Open Day provided the opportunity for the 300 residents of the centre to be welcomed by and link with over thirty NGOs, community organisations and support groups to learn about the wide range of services available to them onsite and in the local community. The ongoing work and contribution of both volunteers and asylum seekers, who are active participants in the Finglas and wider Dublin community while living at Balseskin, was celebrated and recognised.

For more information on the project, please see here Fáilte Project - Journal Article.docx (size 31.4 KB)

The Fáilte project has created information booklets on Accommodation Centres to provide information to residents of Balseskin. Click on the links below

Athlone, Clare (King Thomond), Clare (Knockalisheen), Cork (Ashbourne House)Cork (Clonakilty Lodge), Cork (Glenvera), Cork (Kinsale Road)Cork (Millstreet), Dublin (Hatch Hall), Galway (Eglinton), Galway (Great Western House), Kerry (Park Lodge), Kerry (Athlas House), Kerry (Johnston Marina), Kerry (Linden House), Kildare (Eyre Powell), Laois (Montague), Meath (Mosney)Moate, Sligo (Globe House), Tipperary (Bridge House), Waterford (Ocean View), Waterford (Viking House), Limerick (Mount Trenchard), Limerick (Hanrattys), Longford (Richmond Court), Mayo (The Old Convent), Monaghan (St. Patricks),Waterford (Atlantic House), Waterford (Birchwood)

And this article on the Jesuits in Ireland's support for the National Intercultural Health Strategy 2018-2023 JRS Supports new Intercultural Health Strategy

Duke Internship

DukeEngage Dublin is a collaboration between the Kenan Institute for Ethics, DukeEngage, and more than a half dozen community-based organizations in Ireland grappling with migrant and refugee issues. DukeEngage fully funds an immersive, 8-week experience for Duke University students.  Each summer eight students spend eight weeks in one of the most dynamic and increasingly diverse cities in Europe. Students are placed in small organizations that work on a range of issues.


The HSE National Social Inclusion office was delighted to have Olivia Coletta placed with us for eight weeks over the summer of 2018.

 Olivia coletta

Olivia’s statement:

Over the course of my summer internship in the HSE National Social Inclusion Office, I had the opportunity to help compile a variety of reports pertaining to the subjects of interpretation and translation, Female Genital Mutilation, and the Irish Refugee Protection Project. I will always be grateful for the opportunity Diane and Ruth gave me to work at the HSE this summer and will carry the lessons learned and memories made with me forever.