All posts by pfklein

24 Jun

Garden Party at Áras an Uachtaráin

ATD Ireland was honoured to attend the President’s Garden Party in the beautiful setting of  Áras an Uachtaráin on Wednesday the 19th of June, 2019.

President Michael D Higgins and Sabina Higgins welcomed the ATD Ireland delegation of Mark Hogan, Juliette Pechenart, Paul Uzell, Olga Lacey, Long Weng and Ciara Margolis.  At this event the Irish president was celebrating asylum seekers and refugees, and honouring those who work to support them – the day before World Refugee Day. This was the third Garden Party of 2019 within a series of summer events hosted annually to commend particular people and organisations who work on themes that the President wants to highlight.  All Together in Dignity was invited due to its long standing commitment in reaching out to society’s most vulnerable – including those mentioned above. ATD’s main objectives of poverty alleviation and social inclusion for all, were common goals with many of those in attendance.

From the moment we arrived, we were met by a wide range of people from all over the world. We were struck by all the different, colourful, native clothes and by the warm and open personalities. The house itself was immaculate and extremely elegant, decorated by art, gold and flowers wherever we went. Outside, the back yards were blooming with all the colours of the rainbow. The flower beds were so diverse and beautifully presented that they rivaled even those found at the Botanic Gardens.

From the get go there were talented musicians presented throughout the house and garden, playing  piano, violin and guitar to mention but a few. There were also people scattered throughout the event whose job it was to give us more of a background and context to this historic place. We were delighted to see the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) represented by large blocks in the garden and were sure to take a photo to promote them.

When we were done exploring, it was time for the real celebration to begin. We were sat inside a large glass conservatory in the garden with many, perfectly decorated tables. Here we were served lots of tasty food, both savoury e.g. tartelettes and sandwiches and sweet e.g. chocolate covered strawberries and eclairs. To drink, we were brought delicious freshly squeezed apple juice straight from the President and Sabina’s garden, as well as the option of having red or white wine. It was also a great chance to mingle with others at our table.

Ryan Tubridy was given the job of presenting for the evening and did a great job combining humour with professionalism and respect, taking into account the depth of the context of the gathering. The president’s speech itself was very emotive and poignantly delivered. He referred to the world as a migrant world, whether this occurs by choice or not and discussed our own history of immigration e.g. the famine, explaining how –“We Irish are a migrant people and we always must recognise both the responsibility and blessing that it is to respond to the needs of migrants wherever they may be.” He spoke about the beauty of multiculturalism and how those from other countries offered us a chance to widen our horizons by their “distinct and unique cultural background”.

Mentioning the staggering fact that in 2018, the number of people fleeing war, persecution and conflict exceeded 70 million globally (the highest number in the UN refugee agency’s 70 years of operations), Higgins highlighted the growing scale of the challenge we face in helping refugees, asylum-seekers and those internally displaced. He apologised on behalf of Ireland for the prejudice and stereotyping that many refugees may face on arrival and reminded us that we must live by our promise of ‘Céad míle fáilte’– a hundred thousand welcomes.

The day concluded with a number of wonderful performances. Among the highlights were hip hop star ‘Jafaris’, up and coming boy band ‘Wild Youth’ and the stunning acoustic vocals of Irish singer songwriter ‘Gavin James’. At this stage nearly everyone was standing up, singing and dancing along, including Sabina Higgins herself. Afterwards the President, with his large, fluffy dog by his side – was kind enough to take photos with anyone who so desired. At this point ATD team member Long Weng, was also able to present Michael D with two amazing portraits he had drawn of him.

The mood throughout the occasion was joyous, with the colorful vibrancy of those in attendance filling the air with positivity, inspiration and hope. A big thank you to all who made this celebratory day possible and to everyone who dedicates their time and energy to helping the most vulnerable in society, including refugees and migrants.

18 Jun

Farewell Gathering

On Bank Holiday Monday, 3rd June 2019, ATD held an evening party which was open to all in Ozanam House, Dublin 1. The event marked the European Sustainable Development Week and also enabled people to come together and celebrate Pierre and Fabienne Klein’s commitment and work to ATD Ireland during the last 6 years. The evening included a variety of speeches, games, presentations, and farewells. A raffle in aid of ATD was also held, where the 1st prize of a beautiful forest painting done by Fabienne proved very popular – meaning many tickets were sold.

A special thank you to those who contributed to the making of the “ATD Community Blanket.’ Under the organisation of Juliette Pechenart and Charlotte Tiffoin, an “Army of Knitters” was mobilised which resulted in the creation of a beautiful tapestry of colours. Experienced knitters and complete beginners met from December 2018 onwards to knit or learn to knit in order to complete small squares that would be later assembled as a blanket. Clandestine meetings were held in the ATD Office when Pierre and Fabienne were away, in Ballymun and in cafés near the office. They were always fun and allowed for great chats among friends of ATD, members of the permanent team and of the Board. The secret was kept until June 3rd when [It] the “Community Blanket” was presented to Pierre and Fabienne by friends and families of ATD in recognition of their work in Ireland.

The day was enhanced by the musical contribution music by Cathal & Áine Holland who shared everyone’s joy at the event through their song. People sang songs together, while others went solo or rapped their way through what was a truly memorable evening.

The next day, in the spirit of wet Irish weather, the ATD team (along with a team of helpers) waved goodbye to Fabienne and Pierre as they embarked on their journey by van and boat from Dublin to France, where they will continue their work with ATD Europe, and with the ATD Volunteer Corps.

Finally, a huge thank you to all of you for joining us at our farewell gathering to celebrate all the hard work, passion, and dedication that Pierre and Fabienne Klein brought to ATD Ireland throughout the years. It was a joyful celebration with the ATD community; a truly ‘Great Show’!

We will miss you both very much. 


17 Jun

Health Promotion Fair by ICON

“We at All Together in Dignity Ireland aim to promote a sense of community by extending the values of respect, empathy and dignity to all and in particular to those with direct experience of poverty.

ATD welcomes everyone. It unites people whatever their origin, social status, culture or beliefs to fight against poverty. In building trust, solidarity and friendship, all have a place to realize their full and best potential. By working together and learning from each other, everyone is free to express themselves without being judged.

With this in mind, we strive to create a safe, open and creative environment for individuals to join hand in hand in harmony and help to realize that no matter how dark the cloud may seem, they are not alone.

There is always HOPE.”

Team members, Ciara Margolis and Paul Uzell, were delighted to represent ATD Ireland with a stand at the Health Promotion Fair organised by ICON on Friday, 7th of June. This event took place at St Agatha’s Hall, Dublin 1 and was open to the general public.

Whilst the focus of the day before had been on physical health (with several free health checks as well as acupuncture and physiotherapy available), the fair on the 7th was very much about mental health and the promotion of mental well-being.

There were a number of stands which catered for free self-care services, such as haircuts, eyebrow threading, manicures and Indian head massage. These were busy and bustling throughout the day, but were also very efficient – with the co-ordinators making sure everyone who wanted, got their turn. It was a great idea to offer these feel-good services, free of charge in order to encourage positive mental health for all. Everyone deserves to feel groomed and well-maintained no matter what’s going on inside their mind or how little money they have in their pocket.

The other stands consisted mainly of N.G.Os and charities that wanted to advocate for the importance of a healthy mind through both verbal and non-verbal information. Although ATD Ireland is not primarily a mental health organisation like some of the other organisations participating, it does place an importance on uniting people in their struggles and providing resources that encourage them to come together and stand strong. Through our various projects that mainly revolve around individuals from the most marginalised areas in Dublin, working alongside  others to get their voice heard – we aim to emphasise the importance of community. Though creating a warm and non-judgmental atmosphere, led by empathetic people we also aim to emphasise the importance of openness. These were the two core ATD values we led with at our stand.

We created two main posters to help spread our message, which were laminated and stuck up on the wall behind our stand. On the first poster, we gave examples of positive quotes and affirmations for people who may be struggling to remember e.g. – ‘You are stronger than you think’. On the other poster, we gave examples of positive ways for these people to help feel better e.g. ‘Look after your body’. These were related to the strengths we believe ATD has when it comes to promoting better mental health e.g. connecting with others and being creative whenever possible.

Alongside printouts of our main posters, we also printed 15 different, motivational quotes/pictures that people interacting with us could take, depending on which one’s they liked/ related to most. On the back we wrote simply – “You are so special, Love from ATD’, in order to remind everyone how unique and important they really are.  By the end of the day, all the posters were gone, with many people taking some to decorate their walls at home with.

In order to further express how the work of ATD connects to the core values of openness and community, we took along with us ‘two’ main examples of previous ATD projects which brought people together and got them talking. One was the ‘I Have a Dream’ booklet which consists of stories, poems, spoken word etc. created by a wide range of young people in Ireland (mainly from disadvantaged areas) describing their hopes, dreams and aspirations for the future. This was led by the Unity in the Community Youth Group of ATD Ireland in 2018. The other was a sample of a stone slab containing several written/drawn on stones, created (by over 600 people, over several years) as part of the ‘Your Rights are Written in Stone’ project  of ATD Ireland. In this program, we brought together many different types of children/adults, through many different events, to share messages of hope and resistance – through the medium of stones.

All in all it was a very successful and enjoyable event.  Our stand proved popular, with the public eye being drawn to our colourful display and open demeanours. Whilst many conversations were light, bright and informative, several of the conversations held with regards to mental health were also long, deep and emotional – meaning that bonds were being made and real connections being formed! We also had a large piece of paper hung up behind us, with the words ‘What makes you smile?’ in the middle, leading people to think of and share with us the positive things in their life, which mainly seemed to revolve around ‘family’.

We look forward to continuing to promote mental health awareness and positive mental well-being, wherever we go. The stigma must end!


29 May

Minister Doherty announces “A Roadmap For Social Inclusion”.

ATD volunteers attended the 2019 Social Inclusion Forum which took place on the 22nd May in the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. The Social Inclusion Forum was established by Government as a part of monitoring progress on the National Action Plan for Social Inclusion. The Forum gives people who are directly affected by poverty and social exclusion and those who work with them a voice in the development of policy, and in the ways that the policies are implemented.

At several occasions, and especially during the workshop “Getting more from the data: how to develop a more nuanced understanding of poverty & social inclusion in Ireland”, ATD Ireland raised awareness about the hidden dimensions of poverty as described in the new international report produced by ATD International and Oxford University.

At the Forum, the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty T.D., informed the participants that she would be bringing a new Roadmap for Social Inclusion to Government and she expects to publish it before the end of July 2019.

Minister Doherty said: “The Roadmap for Social Inclusion will state a clear ambition to achieve the long-held, but as yet unrealised, target of reducing consistent poverty and will go beyond that by making Ireland the most socially inclusive State in the EU. Crucially, the roadmap will set out clear commitments to make this vision a reality.

“This ambition and these commitments will reflect the views of people experiencing poverty and social exclusion and the Community and Voluntary sector groups that work with them. Views were received through a special online public consultation process last year and valuable input was also received at the 2017 and 2018 annual Social Inclusion Forum as well as at our annual pre-budget events.

“The feedback through all of these channels identified a broad range of themes from the assurance of rates of welfare payments, to the provision of good-quality and affordable services, to the importance of supports for engagement with education and the labour market. I’m confident that this new Roadmap for Social Inclusion has captured and responded to the views and concerns that you have expressed.”

Minister Doherty stressed that the forthcoming Roadmap for Social Inclusion would provide leadership, direction and accountability across all Government Departments to ensure its targets were met.

“This will be a plan with clear goals and specific commitments and I intend to publish a Roadmap which explicitly sets out the Department responsible for each commitment and what the timelines are. This will help all of these Departments to understand what they need to do to deliver on these commitments and, just as importantly, it will hold them to account for playing their role in delivering on our shared ambition. Through existing plans, the various Departments are already beginning to sound the right tunes in terms of inclusion but every orchestra needs a conductor and the roadmap will lead the way.”

If you want to have a say about this “Roadmap”, visit!

The Forum also provided space for delegates to discuss their views on the challenges Ireland faces, and the policy responses required. In the run up to the Forum EAPN Ireland and Community Work Ireland held local six meetings to build awareness and participation. These took place in Waterford, Tralee, Dundalk, Dublin, Castlerea in Co. Roscommon and a focus group with community workers.  A summary of the issues arising from these meetings was presented at the Forum and can be downloaded here.

The report of the 2019 Forum – which will be presented formally to Government, and circulated to all Government Departments, to various stakeholders and to the public generally – will provide valuable input as the insights, conclusions and recommendations of the Forum are fed into the policymaking process and are available to all stakeholders.

Statistics on Poverty in Ireland
Progress made towards reaching the national social target for poverty reduction is reported annually in the Social Inclusion Monitor. The latest poverty data available shows improvements in living conditions, income inequality and poverty. The most recent edition of the Social Inclusion Monitor was published in 2019 and is based on 2017 EUSILC data.
Further information is available at:

Social Inclusion Forum
The annual Social Inclusion Forum was established by the Government as part of the structures to monitor and evaluate National Action Plan for Social Inclusion 2007-2017. The aim of the Forum is give people who are directly affected by poverty and social exclusion and those who work with them a voice in the development of the policies that directly affect them, and in the ways that policies are implemented. The main conference documents and speaker presentations are usually available online at .

Social Inclusion Division
The role of the Social Inclusion Division is to support the Minister and Government in developing and implementing Government strategies for preventing, reducing and ultimately eliminating poverty and social exclusion. The Division also promotes greater social inclusion and social cohesion in collaboration with other stakeholders including, in particular, people experiencing poverty.

European Anti-Poverty Network Ireland (EAPN Ireland)
The European Anti-Poverty Network Ireland is a network of groups and individuals working against poverty. EAPN Ireland is the Irish link to the European Anti-Poverty Network which brings together civil society organisations from across the European Union to put the fight against poverty at the top of the EU, national and local agenda.

Community Work Ireland (CWI)
Established in 1981, Community Work Ireland (formerly the Community Workers’ Co-operative) is a national membership organisation that seeks to promote quality community work as a means of addressing poverty, social exclusion and inequality, and contributing to the creation of a more just, sustainable and equal society.

11 May

ATD and the OECD call on the International Community to address the Hidden Dimensions of Poverty

“Ending poverty in all its forms everywhere” – the overarching goal of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – reflects the growing consensus on the need to consider other dimensions, beyond monetary ones, when thinking about poverty.

To improve the global understanding of multidimensional poverty, the International Movement ATD Fourth World, together with researchers from Oxford University, launched in 2016 an international research project in six countries (Bangladesh, Bolivia, France, Tanzania, the United Kingdom and the United States) to identify the key dimensions of poverty and their relationships.

The project is based on a “Merging Knowledge” methodology, in which practitioners, academics, and people facing poverty are co-researchers. In this methodology, the different types of knowledge resulting from action, academic research, and life experiences are built first in an independent way through meetings with peer groups, then merged to enrich one another, resulting in new insights about the reality of poverty. This process has led to the identification of 9 key poverty dimensions that, despite differences in the daily lives of poor people across countries, are surprisingly similar.

The project, funded by the French Department of International Development (AFD) and others, reached completion.

During a conference organised by the OECD Centre for Opportunity and Equality and the International Movement ATD Fourth World,  the authors presented national and international outcomes of this research, where the insights and questions raised by the project was shared and discussed with participants. The conference aimed to establish a dialogue among the six National Research Teams and participants on how to move forward in the areas of measurement, policy and action.

For three years, people living in poverty, professionals and academics worked together to clarify how we understand poverty and its multi-dimensional aspects. Research teams defined nine interdependent dimensions common to all six countries. The long-term goal of this project is to help develop better policies to eradicate of poverty.

Download the full “The Hidden Dimensions of Poverty” report.

Programme (PDF)

Concept note (PDF)

With the financial support of AFD

06 May

The NEIC “Corner Stones” project in video and pictures!

At the occasion of 2019 World Day of Social Justice, ATD invited all citizens interested to the launch of “Corner Stones”, a creative project aiming to prepare an artistic piece with the 700 decorated stones created dutring the “Your Rights Are Written in Stone” Campaign run in 2018!

From February 20th to April 27th, a series of workshop have been be held in the North East Inner City to design and eventually create the “Corner Stones”. Some of these “Corner Stones” will find their place in the NEC Farmer’s Hill Communnity Garden once renovated (as part of the larger “Rutland School” renovation project).

Here is the video recorded during the final community workshop on April 27th 2019!

The “Corner Stones Slabs” created during the project were finally displayed during the Community Concert marking the 20 years of ATD in Ireland! On the picture here below, Maureen O’Sullivan speaking in front of the Peace symbol created with all the “Corner Stones”.

This project is supported by a grant from the 2018 NEIC local grants round 2 Programme.

Discover here some pictures from the workshops!

05 May

The 20th Anniversary of ATD in Ireland marked in Dublin

On Saturday May 4th, 150 people from Ireland and abroad gathered to celebrate the 20th anniversary of All Together in Dignity’s activities in Ireland and the 10th anniversary of ATD being registered as an Irish charity.

All Together in Dignity (ATD Ireland)  is a active member of ATD Fourth World, the change making international human-rights movement working through grass-roots projects in partnership with people living in poverty in 35 countries in the Global South and North.

For the past 20 years, ATD in Ireland has been close to family members facing persistent poverty and struggling daily to live in dignity. 

This landmark has been being celebrated with an anniversary concert in the heart of Dublin’s north inner city.  Along with the Island of Ireland Peace Choir and other singers and musicians (the High Hopes Choir, Aine and Cathal Holland), special guests included:

  • Former Irish Ambassador to the United Nations, co-facilitator of the UN Agenda 2030, David Donoghue
  • Stephane Crouzat, French Ambassador
  • Bernadette Scheid, Deputy Belgium Ambassador
  • Fr. Peter McVery SJ
  • Maureen O’Sullivan TD
  • Michael Doorley, Concern Worldwide
  • Barbara Walshe, Chair of Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation
  • Current and previous members of the ATD Volunteer Corps working in Ireland

The President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, wrote a congratulatory message for this anniversary event: “Those who volunteer for All Together in Dignity are inspiring examples of that spirit of solidarity, offering friendship and support to those who live with poverty and social exclusion every day, struggling to create futures of hope for themselves and their families.”
At the event, it was read by Barbara Walshe, former ATD Board member and current Chair of the Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation.
The full message of President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins is  here.


The concert marked some of ATD Ireland’s major achievements over the last 20 years including:

  • In cooperation with the Irish 17 October Committee, staging the annual commemoration of the UN End Poverty Day on 17 October in Dublin and other locations throughout Ireland, 2000 – 2018. The installation of the Human Rights and Poverty Stone in 2008 on the Customs House Quay, Dublin 1, as a central gathering point for the UN Day commemoration.
  • The innovative Cross-Community Programme supported by the Combat Poverty Agency, 2004 -2007, bringing people experiencing hardship from different disadvantaged communities in Dublin to discuss important issues for them and their families in a series of monthly meetings.
  • Following the visit to Ireland in 2011 of Magdalena Sepulveda, UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, finalising the Guiding Principles on Human Rights and Extreme Poverty, adopted by the UN in 2012 – the result of 25 years of continuous work and dialogue by ATD Fourth World International at the United Nations.
  • Supporting an alliance of civil society actors in a campaign that resulted in the Recommendation by the Constitutional Convention for the inclusion of Social, Economic and Cultural Rights in the Irish Constitution, 2013 – 2018.
  • Staging a series of Leave No One Behind Conversations in 2018 with people from disadvantaged communities to promote awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals and the transformative Agenda 2030 Promise.
  • Currently campaigning to protect Irish citizens from unequal treatment on the basis of the socio-economic status (introduction in the Irish Equal Status Act of the Socio-Economic Status as a recognised ground of discrimination).

Read more about the 20 years of activities of ATD in Ireland.

ATD is grateful to the O’Connell Secondary School and its Principal Lynn Kidney and to the Peace Choir Leader Phil Brennan for their strong support to the event.

Discover some pictures from the event:

The ATD 20th Anniversary Concert was one of the many community events of “The Big Hello”, the National Community Week End during the May Bank Holiday Week End!

This ATD event wass a “Star Wars Fans” friendly event! It was a way to mark “Star Wars Day” and support people who share a “New Hope” against poverty. May the Force be with us to #EndPoverty and #LeaveNoOneBehind!

The event also marked the European Youth Week! The ATD Unity in the Community Youth Group will share information about the #DemocracyAndMe campaign and explain why “Democracy is a #LeaveNoOneBehind promise!”. At the event they presented their current project: “End Discrimination – From Holocaust to Protection

20 Apr

15 Recommendations, 1 Way Forward: our European Elections Manifesto

With the upcoming 2019 European elections, there is a lot at stake for the establishment of a European Union that is “more inclusive and more equitable” and that meets the ambition of leaving no one behind, as set out in the preamble of the UN 2030 Agenda.

The 15 recommendations and the call on candidates to support, as a way forward, the renewal of the parliamentary Intergroup “Extreme Poverty and Human Rights” in the next legislature of the European Parliament presented in ATD Europe’s Manifesto are mostly based on months of work done by people in poverty, members of ATD  and other stakeholders (NGOs, Networks, officials etc.).

This cumulated in the 15th European ATD People’s University on 6 February 2019 in the
European Parliament. The event brought together delegations made up primarily of people living in poverty from 8 European countries (Germany, Belgium, France, Great Britain, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Romania), non-proft actors and representatives from different political European institutions.

In the run-up to the 2019 Irish Local and European Elections in 2019, ATD Ireland with other members of the Community Platform has also developed a #MyValuesMyVote manifesto to promote and support the delivery of positive social values.

These values are Community, Decency and Participation. Electing people who will deliver on these values on the 24th May will help achieve the type of inclusive society we all want to live in at a local level or as part of a wider European Union.

You can download the Local Election Manifesto and European Election Manifesto and a Public Leaflet highlighting these values with questions to use when election candidates knock on your door.

The Manifestos and Leaflet will be launched on the 2nd May @ 10:30am in St Andrew’s Resource Centre in Dublin. Register here if you want to attend the launch!


24 Mar

This is the Greatest Show! Let’s celebrate 5 years of activism for the Agenda 2030!

On Bank Holiday Monday June 3rd 2019, join our ATD evening party open to all to mark the European Sustainable Development Week 2019 and to come together as Fabienne and Pierre Klein move from Dublin to Paris where they will continue their work with ATD Europe,and the ATD Volunteer Corps.

The evening will include presentation on SDGs activities, Sing Along Session, games and more fun!

When: Monday 3rd June 2019 from 5pm to 8pm
Where: Gym Hall of the Ozanam House, 53 Mountjoy Square West, Dublin 1, D01 T6W6

The focus of this late afternoon event will be a celebration of 5 years of activism by ATD Ireland for Transforming the world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

From the Summer 2014 to June 2019, Members of the ATD Ireland team have been strongly involved in the promotion and implementation of Agenda 2030, the 17 SDGs and the Leave No One Behind Promise in Ireland.

This event in the middle of the European Sustainable Development Week 2019 is an opportunity to take stoke of this work and look ahead.

22 Mar

Enter the Our World Irish Aid Awards Challenge with Tapori!

The Our World Irish Aid Awards seek to enable pupils to learn about the lives of children and their families in developing countries and how Ireland, through Irish Aid, and 192 other countries in the United Nations are working together to create a safer and fairer world, and a better future for all the world’s children.

This year’s Awards theme, Leave No One Behind, is an opportunity to discover a children’s movement focused on the “Leave No One Behind” challenge: Tapori

The closing date for entries for this year’s Our World Irish Aid Awards is Friday April 12th 2019, so there is still  time to get involved! Entering a project is simple.

All teachers need to do is complete the lesson plans available on the dedicated website and have pupils create a project in any format to showcase what they have learnt about the Global Goals, the Leave No One Behind promise and the work of Irish Aid.

If you are still looking for ideas to create a project with pupils, visit the Tapori website! The website is full of stories and activities designed to facilitate discussions on ways to walk the talk of the “leave no one behind” promise!


The Our World Awrads Teacher Booklet

The Tapori Presentation Leaflet

“Come with us” – a 25 minutes video on the Tapori children movement
(here below)