Women exiting prostitution and Meals on Wheels among beneficiaries of philanthropy fund

Almost €500,000 in Covid-19 grants from Community Foundation of Ireland

Almost €500,000 has been awarded in philanthropic donations to support 13 groups including projects linked to women wanting to exit prostitution, food poverty, migrant workers and Travellers.

The Community Foundation for Ireland is distributing the latest round of grants from a Covid-19 response fund established last year through corporate and private donations.

The philanthropic agency said combatting inequalities which have widened during the pandemic is the focus of this funding.

The largest award of €80,000 goes to the Sexual Exploitation Research Project at UCD in collaboration with advocacy group Ruhama and the Immigrant Council of Ireland to document the process of exiting and recovery from sexual exploitation, the barriers women face and the supports required to rebuild lives outside of the sex trade.


The Irish Rural Link will receive €50,000 to assist up to 25 local Meals on Wheels groups. “There will be a strong focus on those which are at risk of falling into food poverty because of the impact of the pandemic on household income,” the agency said.

A Traveller employment project being set up by Business in the Community will receive €50,000 to provide supported employment opportunities for Travellers and to change the ways Travellers are perceived in businesses.

Exchange House which provides after-training and after-school programmes for Travellers will receive €20,000 to establish a lap-top loan scheme to improve their access to online programmes.

The Migrant Rights Centre will receive €50,000 towards a programme to advance the rights of migrant workers in agri-food, domestic work, homecare and for undocumented workers by providing information and advocacy, securing vaccinations and presenting data and experiences of migrant workers to the government.

Digital training

Family resource centres in Dublin and Limerick will receive €35,000 for the services they provide including family and senior citizen supports, hygiene hampers, counselling and digital training.

Other projects included €40,000 for the Children’s Rights Alliance campaign to provide extra supports to children who have fallen behind because of school closures; €50,000 for AsiAm autism charity for an information line with guidance and support for individuals with autism and family members; €50,000 to Young Social Innovators for social enterprise projects; and €0,000 to the Centre for Environment Justice to provide legal support on climate justice issues.

Announcing the funding, chief executive of the Community Foundation for Ireland, Denise Charlton, said the agency had been working for the past year with communities where the impact of Covid-19 had widened inequalities.

She said it is “a harsh reality that the demand and need continues to outpace the generosity we are seeing”.

Pandemic support has accounted for €9million of the €15 million in grants the foundation has provided in the past 12 months.

Marie O'Halloran

Marie O'Halloran

Marie O'Halloran is Parliamentary Correspondent of The Irish Times