A message of hope and solidarity for World Refugee Day
On 19th June, Dominican Sisters were joined by members of the Young Mothers’ Network (YMN) and other friends to mark World Refugee Day in the Dominican Resource Centre in Cabra. According to the European Commission, as of May 2024, the number of forcibly displaced people in the world has reached 120 million. The World Refugee Day event was a chance to gather in hope and solidarity, to hear stories of survival and resilience.
The Young Mothers’ Network supports women asylum seekers and refugees, including those living in Direct Provision, those already living in or trying to move into community living, and those who are unfortunately experiencing homelessness due to the chronic shortage of rental accommodation in Dublin. Speakers from the YMN group described their experiences of feeling isolated and alone when they first arrived in Ireland, and then of how they had received support, love and friendship from the other women in the group and from the volunteers who support the women, among them Dominican Sisters and Lay Dominicans.
We also heard testimonies from two mothers, Ukrainian refugees, who are guests of the Congregation in Cabra, and who described the way their lives changed when Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022: “We will never forget that day. The day when we forgot what peace is, what it is not to be afraid for our home, for our family, for our children and the future.”
Sr Marie McHugh, who supports one of the women in the YMN group, spoke about the friendship that has developed between them and about how much she has gained from their connection.
Attendees wrote messages of solidarity on cardboard cut-out hands, which were arranged in concentric circles representing the ripples of hope and solidarity that our small actions can have. Messages included:
“We stand with you in your struggles”
“We extend our hands of friendship to you”

“I wish you strength in your journey. You have given me hope”
“In the face of uncertainty and adversity, your strength and courage shine brightly”
Finally, Fr Stephen Cummins helped us to celebrate those YMN members who had just received or were just about to receive Irish citizenship, with the presentation of a small gift of welcome to each woman.