LIMERICK-based Doras is one of three non-profit organisations behind the launch of an online platform that provides free access to education and training courses for people from refugee and migrant backgrounds.
SaorEd is a collaborative initiative between Doras, New Horizon and Dignity Partnership, which has been designed specifically for refugees and underserved communities.
Available at www.saored.com, SoarEd aims to provide free access to
a range of entry-level and advanced courses. Initial offerings include
English language courses, information technology (IT) skills,
healthcare, and career preparation courses.
The courses on offer are mostly in English, with some in Arabic. Navigation interfaces are available in Arabic and Farsi and it is hoped to expand the range of courses and languages on offer.
SaorEd is intended to fill the gaps in existing education and training
programmes. While free English language classes are provided by the 16 Education and Training Boards (ETBs) and others, places on these are often difficult to obtain.
Doras chief executive John Lannon said it is difficult for people living in remote areas, particularly Direct Provision centres, to access regular transport to attend in-person training. SaorEd can provide pathways to further education and employment for them.
“The platform is also of value to parents of young children who may not be able to access mainstream education during the day. It is also accessible to people who face financial barriers to education, who may not be entitled to the Back to Education Allowance, for example,” he explained.