Our vision is that all newcomer citizens of Waterford and the southeast are resourced to live and integrate in a society where they feel welcome, accepted, fully equal and can make a valuable contribution towards an effective, harmonious society which prides itself of diversity and multiculturalism.


Who we are:

The integration and Support Unit (ISU) is a humanitarian Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO). Based in the Edmund Rice Centre, Mount Sion, Waterford, we have served over 3,500 Refugees, Asylum Seekers and other Migrants in the southeast since our establishment in 2006.

We work with other NGOs, agencies, academics and the private sector to provide a variety of supports to our clients, including advocacy, integration, professional service referrals, English language classes, outreach and policy development.

What we do:

We provide a wide range of services and supports to Refugees, Asylum Seekers and other vulnerable Migrants who are trying to integrate into the southeast region.

Much of our work is in Direct Provision accommodation centres, where we help parents overcome barriers such as childcare, isolation and language.

With the assistance of our dedicated volunteers and a small but highly committed staff, we work with other organisations and partners to maximize resources and provide the best service possible to our clients.




A Refugee is a person who meets the eligibility criteria under the applicable refugee definition, as provided by international or regional refugee instruments, under the UNHCR mandate and/or in National legislation. Any person who is persecuted as a result of political unrest, war, religious affiliation, reasons of race, environmental disasters or human trafficking, is outside the country of nationality and is unable to avail of the protection of that country or unwilling to return to it is considered a Refugee.

Asylum Seekers

An Asylum Seeker is an individual who has crossed an international border and is seeking international protection. In countries with individualised procedures, an Asylum Seeker is someone whose claim for asylum has not yet been finally decided by the country in which he or she has submitted it. Not every Asylum Seeker will ultimately be recognised as a Refugee, but every Refugee is initially an Asylum Seeker. They do not have permissions to work in the country of refuge until they have received full Refugee status.


There is no internationally recognised definition of Migrants. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ policy on migration describes Migrants as people who leave or flee their places of habitual residence to go to a new place, across international borders or within their own state, to seek better or safer perspectives. Migration can be forced or voluntary, although Asylum Seekers and Refugees often travel alongside Migrants in ‘mixed flows’, they have specific needs and are protected by a specific legal framework.



Intercultural Healthcare Programme

Delivered in partnership with HSE Social Inclusion Southeast through engagement with Community Knowledge Healthcare Workers who provide peer supports, information and access to mainstream health services.

  • Health Promotion
  • Mental Health Awareness
  • Sexual Health Promotion
  • Gender based Health
  • FGM & Male GM
  • Health & Human Rights
  • Regional Human Trafficking Supports
  • Intercultural Health Awareness & Training

Outreach Services

Includes supports to individuals and families living in Direct Provision Centres and to those who are furthest removed from accessing services. Supports are person-centred and identified through evidence based needs.

  • Advocacy Supports
  • Referrals to other Services
  • Peer Mentoring
  • Youth Initiatives
  • Citizenship
  • Information Sessions on accessing appropriate Services

Education, Training & Employment

Supports include access to basic skills such as English Language Learning through a range of levels to increase opportunity to engage in employment and integration opportunities. 

  • Peer led Education Programmes (Accredited & Non-accredited)
  • Enterprise based Programmes
  • Employment based Programmes
  • Health based Programmes (accredited)
  • IT Skills
  • Training Initiatives
  • Employment Progression
  • Volunteering Opportunities
  • Migrant Volunteer Bureau Programme (MVBP)

Roma Programme

Since 2013 we have been engaged in providing supports for Roma communities under our Vulnerable Immigrants banner in association with HSE Social Inclusion Southeast & Waterford Roma Interagency Group.

  • Roma Advocacy service (with Romanian speaking Worker)
  • Translation & Interpretative Services
  • Weekly Roma Information Clinic
  • English Language Classes for Roma Women & Roma Men
  • Child & Family Supports
  • Liaison with Schools & Families of Learners
  • Comprehensive Healthcare Programme
  • Training Initiatives
  • Enterprise Development

Methodology & Work Approaches

  • Informing Policy, Procedures & Best Practice
  • Professionalisation of Work Standards & Ethics
  • Information (Workshop & Session based)
  • Advocacy through Outreach Supports
  • Integration through Programmes
  • Legal Services through Referrals
  • Research & Development
  • Community Development Principles
  • Human Rights based Approaches


My opportunities for education have been an eye-opener and positive experience to meet and work with others. The ISU has been a bridge between my previous unemployment status to being employed and now engaged in higher education. The programmes they designed and developed have been just right for me. I am very grateful.

- Osas Usideme, Service User & Volunteer
After working for some years I was made redundant due to the economic situation. I decided to re-train for other employment opportunities, which was when I discovered the ISU. This was my first opportunity to engage with other cultures at a community level. These experiences and my FETAC qualifications have been extremely useful, especially within my local Nigerian community. I am now engaging as a community knowledge worker to inform others about access to healthcare and access to services.

- Kenneth Ajayi, Community Knowledge Worker
Having started as a volunteer from Uganda with the ISU in 2014, I had the opportunity to apply for an Outreach position which enabled me to use my degree in social care to good advantage. I have come through the asylum seeker system myself, and having spent some time in direct provision accommodation I could relate with clients who required assistance to access services. When I look at where I was before and where I am now, I have gained more knowledge around my work and my confidence has greatly improved.

- Victoria Kalimo, ISU Outreach Worker



Become a volunteer and help support ISU programmes

Donate in-kind

Donate in-kind (office materials, technologies, food for events, support services etc.)


Donate to ISU programme development and delivery

Real world work experience

Offer professional and real world internships, training opportunities and work experience

Professional Service

Provide pro-bono professional services (legal, medical, IT skills, marketing etc.)


Lobby on issues effecting Refugees and Asylum Seekers

Our Partners

HSE-logo.jpg IOM_Logo.jpg




Integration and Support Unit
Edmund Rice International Heritage Centre
Mount Sion
Barrack Street
 +353 (0)51 852 564

Email: info@integrationandsupportunit.ie
Charity Number: 14748


Designed by Passionforcreative Admin Login