independent

Saturday 18 November 2017

Loreto Sister giving library talk on plight of refugees

By Maria Pepper

Wexford library is marking World Refugee Day today (Tuesday, June 20) with a free talk by Mary Burkhart of the Loreto Sisters who lived in Cairo Jerusalem and Damascus as a child.

Sister Burkhart will talk about the history of Europe and the Middle East, the current situation and the differences between the terms 'refugee', 'migrant' and 'asylum seeker'.

The talk and short question and answer session will start at 7 pm and is hosted by Doras Luimní, an organisation established in 2000 in response to the the 'Direct Provision' system by the Irish Government which dispersed asylum seekers to accommodation centres around the country.

It has been organised to increase public awareness and understanding of the issues that make people flee their homes and look for refuge in a foreign country.

Sister Burkhart's interest in the Middle East and refugee issues stems from her childhood experiences, her involvement in the Arab Society in UCD in the 1970's, work in Rwandan Refugee Camps in Tanzania in 1995 and collaborating with groups working on migrant and refugee issues in Tangiers from 2010 to 2016.

She recently returned from working with women in Morocco and a four-month stint at the Loreto Sisters' NGO to the UN Office in New York City.

Sister Mary is involved with the Irish Refugee Council, the Déise Refugee Response Group in Dungarvan and more recently, in Wexford, with Doras Luimní, supporting refugee integration.

Wexford People

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