09 Sep

Young ATD volunteers meet UN Deputy Secretary General and the Tánaiste

On Friday 7th September 2018, Kaydee, Loraine and Andrew from the ATD Youth Group “Unity in the Community” met UN Deputy Secretary General Amina J Mohammed and Tánaiste Minister of Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney.

They explained to both of them the project run by them earlier in the year entitled “Ireland, I have a dream”. See www.ihaveadream.ie

The meeting took place at the Iveagh House during an event co-organised by DFAT, Irish Aid and National Youth Council of Ireland.

On the same day the Tánaiste and the Minister Cannon confirmed support for UN reform as the UN Deputy Secretary General was visiting Ireland. They announced a pledge of €1 million in support of the reform efforts of the United Nations Development System. “In my meeting with the UN Deputy Secretary General Mohammed today, I stressed Ireland’s support for a more effective, efficient and results-focused UN approach, given the key role the UN is playing in making the Sustainable Development Goals a reality for everyone, everywhere. This is in keeping with Ireland’s consistent support for the United Nations and our core belief that small countries can and should take a leadership role in the UN organisation.” said Simon Coveney. Minister Cannon added: “Ireland is happy to play its part in helping to fund these crucial UN reforms. I have seen in my recent visits to Africa and elsewhere that the UN teams are working around the clock to respond to humanitarian emergencies, to support long-term development, to preserve peace and to ensure human rights. Our funding today will complement the strong support Ireland provides to the UN Development System – and make it work better for those most in need.”

02 Sep

Remembering Phil Barbier

Phil conducted hundreds of wire workshops – here in Dublin

It is with great sadness that the ATD International leadership team announced that Phil Barbier passed away on Sunday 1st July in Montreal, where he and his wife Françoise have been living since August 2016.

Most of ATD’s Irish friends remember that Phil and Françoise worked in the ATD Dublin team from 2006 to 2011. They lived in Dublin with their 3 daughters Amelie, Sophie and Zoe.

Phil was 26 when he joined the ATD International Volunteer Corps in 1985, after a few years working as a youth leader in Mons, the last place where he had been put in foster care in his country, Belgium.

Alone and then with Françoise, a volunteer passionate about creating links that free people from extreme poverty, like himself, Phil joined many ATD teams, in Lille, Reims, Dakar, the Movement’s international centre, Frimhurst, Brussels, Liège, Reunion Island, Dublin, Montreal…

Many of us in Ireland met him in Dublin or at international events where he proposed to participate in one of his metal wire workshops. Phil was passionate about facilitating and supporting encounters; it was one of his driving forces! And that’s what pushed him to create, to invite others to create together.

Phil conducted hundreds of wire workshops in different countries. In Switzerland, using stones sent by Tapori children from all over the world, he and other ATD members created a sculpture “My heart is in this stone”, which is still on display at the headquarters of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva.

In March 2018 in Montreal Phil learned that he was suffering from cancer. Although this was already at an advanced stage, he wanted to continue working and teaming up with others as much as he could, while fighting the disease. Phil wanted to finish a book about his childhood and youth in institutions, about the extreme violence he had experienced but also how, in spite of all this, he had built his life as an adult.  With this book, to be published in French in 2019, Phil wanted to continue to pass on to ATD members and to a larger audience his passion for bringing about genuine encounters, for overcoming the exclusion provoked by the fear of others, and for continuing to build a movement of people against poverty and marginalisation.

Phil’s funeral involved several stages, in Montreal, in Mons (Belgium) – the town where he was born, and in ATD Headquarter in France on 1st September 2018.

Here is the message prepared by ATD Ireland for the 1st September memorial service.

Phil with his 3 daughters Sophie, Zoe and Amelie – 17 October 2008

30 Aug

ATD had a say in the Irish Aid Consultation Process on the new Irish Development Policy

On budget day 10 October 2017, Minister Simon Coveney, T.D., Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade announced  that Ireland will produce a new international development policy in 2018.

On 12 July 2018 Mr. Simon Coveney, T.D., Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade and Mr. Ciarán Cannon, T.D., Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development launched a public consultation process, inviting written submissions in response to the public consultation paper, and encouraging participation in public meetings to take place in September and early October.

The global context has evolved significantly over the past five years. A series of new international policy frameworks under the Sustainable Development Goals provide a comprehensive framework for international cooperation and global policy making for development and humanitarian action.

Ireland is recognised internationally for its commitment to the reduction of poverty and vulnerability.

The policy development process is an opportunity to bring the Irish public into the discussion, to engage them on the global challenges facing Ireland and developing countries, and build a whole of society approach to international development.

The public consultation will take place from July through early October 2018. There will be opportunities for the general public, the development community in Ireland, and partners and stakeholders in developing countries to give input to policy development.

At the end of August 2018, ATD Ireland submitted a first contribution in the consultation process. This submission is entitled:

Prioritising and supporting the active participation
of people with lived experience of poverty
to strengthen Ireland’s contribution
to a more equal, just and sustainable world.
Download ATD’s submission here!

Key Documents of the Consulation Process

Public Consultation Paper
Sets out proposed directions for Ireland’s new policy on international development in 2018, and information to guide public submissions.

Global Ireland – Ireland’s Global Footprint to 2025
Outlines the Government’s initiative to double the scope and impact of Ireland’s global footprint in the period to 2025.

The Global Island: Ireland’s Foreign Policy for a Changing World
Ireland’s 2015 foreign policy review sets out how we safeguard our peace, security and economic prosperity, and promote reconciliation and cooperation at home. At its core are the protection of our citizens and the promotion of our values abroad.

One World One Future
Ireland’s 2013 Policy for International Development sets out the vision of a sustainable and just world, where people are empowered to overcome poverty and hunger and fully realise their rights and potential.

25 Aug

Our Open Letter to Pope Francis

On the occasion of the visit of Pope Francis to Ireland on the 25th and 26th August 2018, members of ATD prepared an Open Letter to welcome the leader of the Catholic Church.

The letter includes a call on the Irish Catholic Church and its members to become strong activists for the implementation of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development as a way to answer to “the cry of the poor and the cry of the earth”.

Ahead of the second “Catholic World Day of the Poor” (Saturday 18th November) initiated by Pope Francis,  ATD members invite also the Irish Catholics to join the 2 months of a loud “End Poverty Campaign” starting with the UN International Day for the Eradication of Poverty on 17th October and ending at the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 10th December. The Saturday and Sunday 17th and 18th November will be an opportunity to demand a robust implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights. The Catholic World Day and the EU Pillar have both been launched in mid-November 2017.

The Open Letter follows a proposal by ATD Ireland and many other key Irish anti-poverty activists to prepare a meeting of people with experience of poverty and social exclusion with the Pope at the Famine Statues and the Human Rights and Poverty Stone on Custom House Quay in Dublin 1.

Download in PDF:
The Open Letter to Pope Francis
The proposal of meeting with the Pope



21 Aug

The 2018 Festival of Nations in Mountjoy Square Park

On Saturday 18th August the diversity and togetherness of the North East Inner City’s multicultural community was celebrated at the inaugural Festival of Nations in Mountjoy Square Park. The opening ceremony kicked off at 1pm with the Parade of Nations. The parade was full of colour and music with representatives from many nations flying their flags.

All Together in Dignity (ATD) Ireland co-organised the event in partnership with the leading organisation “Diversity & Multicultural Initiative” and the Dublin City Council. The event was made possible with the support of the North East Inner City Initiative.

ATD organised many activities on the day including; Your Rights are Written in Stone workshop, Tug of War, Dizzy Penos, Interactive language boards and a “Europe Matters” documentation Stand.

The Your Rights are Written in Stone workshop was the last in a long series of workshops facilitated by ATD as part of the Human Rights and Poverty Stone 10th anniversary project supported by the NEIC fund. Participants in the workshop were invited to write, draw or paint a word, name or image they associate with basic human rights and poverty on a small stone which will be included in a very special exhibition to mark the UN Day for the Eradication of Poverty, 17th October 2018.

The event was a free family-friendly event with close to 30 countries represented. Countries showcased their individual culture through music, dance and poetry while celebrating the togetherness of the community. Several workshops at various countries stalls including exotic foods to satisfy the crowds taste buds.

ATD interactive language boards were located in various location at the event and invited those in attendance to write various words in their own language including ‘Dreams’ ‘Hopes’ and ‘Love’.

ATD also organised child friendly activities throughout the day including a tug of war and dizzy penos which provided great laughs and entertainment for kids and big kid parents!

The crowds were kept entertained throughout the day by a programme of performances on the event mainstage. Mainstage performances were kicked off by friends of ATD ‘Shakalak’ while other performances included live dance, music, and spoken word. Cathal and Aine Holland, friends of ATD, were also part of the line-up.  Fabu D, the MC of the day, provided plenty of laughs and kept the crowds in high spirits throughout.

The Lord Mayor of Dublin addressed the crowd to express how delighted he was to see so many cultures represented together at one event. He expressed great pride in the inclusive community of the North Inner City.

ATD, as co-organisers, were overwhelmed by the positive responses to the event and would like thank Diversity & Multicultural Initiative and Dublin City Council for a wonderful partnership and hope will produce an even bigger event next year!

For more information about the Your Rights are Written in Stone

27 Jul

For We Are Glorious!


We are not a stranger to the dark
Hide away, they say
‘Cause we don’t want your broken parts
We’ve learned to be ashamed of all our scars
Run away, they say
No one’ll love you as you are
But we won’t let them break me down to dust
We know that there’s a place for us
For we are glorious
When the sharpest words wanna cut us down
We’re gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
We are brave,  we are bruised
We are who we’re meant to be, this is us!
Look out ’cause here we come
And we’re marching on to the beat we drum
We’re not scared to be seen
We make no apologies, this is us!
Another round of bullets hits our skin
Well, fire away ’cause today, we won’t let the shame sink in
We are bursting through the barricades and
Reaching for the sun!
We are warriors
Yeah, that’s what we’ve become
We won’t let them break us down to dust
We know that there’s a place for us
For we are glorious
and we know that we deserve your love
’cause there’s nothing we are not worthy of
When the sharpest words wanna cut us down
We’re gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
This is brave, this is proof
This is who we are meant to be, this is us
Look out ’cause here we come
And we are marching on to the beat we drum
We’re not scared to be seen
We make no apologies, this is us
And if “The Greatest Showman” was all about All Together in Dignity?
The “Greatest Show” would be about the key goals of 2030 Agenda,
the show we are all waiting for: end extreme poverty and reduce inequalities!
“This is me (us)” would be the “All Together in Dignity” Anthem!

“From now own” would be the choice of our global community to look in a critical way to the growth, consumption and lights we have been “buying” since the end of 2nd World War and recognize we have been mislead!

We have to come back home again, 70 years after the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and this time be genuine with people, animals, nature and the planet!

Time has come for the “Greatest Show”!

And join us every last Tuesday of the month for our Sing Along evening!

Next session: Tuesday 25th September 2018 at 7pm at ATD’s offices!

07 Jul

ATD youth group launched ‘Ireland, I Have A Dream’ inspired by Martin Luther King

The ATD “Unity in the Community Youth Group” launched the ‘Ireland, I Have A Dream’ on Friday 6th July. The event hosted by the Unity in the Community Youth Group included games, spoken word, live music and speeches.

The book was prepared and printed with funding from the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund.

The ‘Ireland, I Have a Dream’ project run from January to July 2018 has provided a new space for young people in Ireland and beyond, under 25, to find their voice as leaders and to explore the inequalities of poverty in the context of their own lives by writing speeches, poems, raps, and spoken word in the spirit of the famous Martin Luther King ‘I Have A Dream’ speech.

The book chronicles the story of the youth group, the project itself, the youth groups we visited, workshops, and partners. The core of this publication is a collection of over 30 ‘Dreams’ written by young people.

From February to May 2018, the UC Youth Group managed to host eight workshops, as opposed to the planned five, which made a huge difference to the young people involved.

With the Youth Group, ATD friends and volunteers are thrilled to be able to celebrate the publication with all the young people who contributed to it along with their proud families. It’s a great achievement for all of them!

Hard copies are available from the ATD offices, 26 Mountjoy Square, Dublin 1! Small donation welcome! contact: info[at]atdireland.ie

Download the free pdf here!

ATD Ireland received €5,000 from the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund in October 2017 and launched their project in January.

Watch the RTE social media News coverage of the project: twitter.com/rtenews

For more information on the Unity in the Community Youth Group visit www.ihaveadream.ie


27 Jun

Our Voice at the National Economic Dialogue

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will open the National Economic Dialogue which takes place in Dublin Castle on the 27th and 28th June 2018. It will also be addressed by Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe.

The dialogue is an annual opportunity to consider how to make best use of the available resources ahead of Budget 2019. It is not intended to produce specific budget proposals or recommendations, however it could help those preparing their own pre-budget submissions.

Representatives of community, voluntary and environmental groups as well as business groups, unions, and research institutes will be attending.

ATD Ireland will be represented by the Community Platform and the Community and Voluntary Pillar delegates.

The position paper of the the Community and Voluntary Pillar can be downloaded here!

In the coming weeks, ATD Ireland will campaign to make sure Budget 2019 includes:

– A robust funding for the new National Action Plan For Social Inclusion 2018-2021,

– The need for ressources to put in place an national implementation plan of the European Pillar of Social Rights (See also the EU 27 June meeting in Sofia).

– To strengthen the C & V Pillar recommendation : “Ensure protection of the vulnerable, the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living and promotion of equality are at the core of all decisions made. To this end all relevant policies and strategies should be subjected to a transparent social impact assessment at design and planning stage”, ATD invites the Governement to make sure equality assessesments can cover all situations of vulnerability. We call on the Governement to immediatly include the socio-economic status as a recognnised ground of discrimination in Irish Equality legislation,

– To improve social dialogue, Governement should set aside dedicated funding for a few specifice pilot projects with the aim of developing long-term participatory processes in which people with experience of long-term social exclusion and their organisations could contribute to the assessment and monitoring of areas of policy. In 2019, area of experimentation could be for instance, the SDG Stakeholder Forum, a monitoring body of the new Natiional Action Plan for Social Inclusion or a monitoring body of the implementation of the Slainte Care Reform.

17 Jun

Make Poverty History! Be the Generation! We Walked Together with Nelson Mandela

Thank you to all the Dublin citizens who joined ATD Volunteers at the Famine Statues to ‘Be the Legacy’ on the day the world marked the centenary of the birth of Nelson Mandela.

This day was a very special one as it is the 100th birthday of Nelson Mandela and the world was marking it in a ”loud” way. It is also the Mandela Day of the year of the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights #UDHR70!

Following the call of the South African Nelson Mandela Foundation and its #ActionsAgainstPoverty campaign, ATD Ireland invited the general public to mark the day on Custom House Quay inspired by the ‘Make Poverty History’ speech by Mandela in Trafalgar Square in 2005.

The momentum of the day from 5.30pm to 6.30pm was a symbolic ‘Long Walk to Freedom’ from the Famine Statues to the Human Rights and Poverty Stone on Custom House Quay.

The participants were invited to walk together the 40 meters from the Statues to the Stone while joining some songs and listening to some #EndPoverty quotes from Nelson Mandela’

More here:



Also on the day:

From 11pm to 7pm :
displays of ‘Make Poverty History’ quotes on Liffey railings of Custom House Quay

From 12pm to 5pm:
two free workshops will be facilitated under two temporary pop-up shelters/gazebos equipped with tables and chairs and installed on the quay close to the Human Rights and Poverty Stone :

  • – workshop A: discover the Mandela ‘Make Poverty History’ Legacy and collection of messages “From Dublin to Mandela”
  • – workshop B: ”Your Rights Are Written in Stone” workshop to raise awareness about the End Poverty Message of the location with the Famine Statues and the Human Rights and Poverty Stone.

The event is supported by a small North East Inner City grant from the Trade Union FORSA.

Regular updates about the event on Custom House Quay on the Facebook Event Page!

This event is part of the ATD Ireland 2018 #LivingTheLegacy project marking the centenary of the birth of Mandela, the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, the 30th anniversary of the death of Joseph Wresinski and the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declarartion of Human Rights.

17 Jun

The “I Have A Dream” campaign will celebrate the dreams of young people on 6th July 2018!

The “I Have A Dream” campaign will end with a final Spoken Words Party in Mountjoy Square Park on 6th July 2018 from 6pm to 8pm!

The legacy of Martin Luther King was the inspiration for the ATD Dublin youth group who officially kicked off their creative writing campaign Ireland, I Have a Dream on #MLKDay in January 2018.

The Party in Mountjoy Square park is the final event of the project and is aimed at young people who took part in the creative writing project for the past few months. They will be invited to perform their speeches, get to know other participants and give voice to their dreams in person. The event is free and open to the local community as well.

During the event, we will also launch the publication of speeches from the participants.
The evening will be an event full of music and inspiration with our project ambassador Dublin GAA Footballer Jonny Cooper in attendance along with some other special guests (including the guests of one of the sponsor of the project Coca Cola Ireland (for example PJ Gallagher).

Get updates about the event via the Facebook event page!


Over the past 6 months, the Unity in the Community youth group encouraged young people to write about the dreams they have to stop persistent poverty in Ireland through the context of their own story. The movement began on the 13th February with a booked out creative writing workshop administered by Fighting Words, which provides free tutoring and mentoring in creative writing and related arts.

For all information about the project visit ihaveadream.ie.

Although most famous for his work in civil rights, Martin Luther King was also an anti-poverty activist. On the 50th year of the anniversary of his death (this year on the 4th April 2018), the youth group explored the legacy of Martin Luther King and were inspired by his infamous ‘I, Have a Dream speech’.

The group decided to start this campaign in which they could use their creative mind and voice to connect ‘I Have A Dream’ to their own lives. Over a few months, the ATD Youth Group has attempted to help young people to find strength in sharing their experiences, finding their singular and unified voices. The campaign was designed to provide a new space in Ireland for young people between the ages of 16-25 with the aim of empowering participants and inspiring others to keep fighting to stop poverty, find their voice as leaders and to explore the inequalities of poverty in the context of their own lives.

The campaign was supported by Dublin Footballer Jonny Cooper, who joined the project as an ambassador. Cooper noted “Having met this group I was struck with their level of self-awareness, empathy and care to provide better future opportunities for young people. I am delighted to be involved with a determined group of people who are driven to be trail blazers and create change”.

The project is co-funded by the Irish Coca-Cola Thank You Fund and the Foundation ATD in Paris.