University of Limerick (UL) held a toiletries drive for direct provision with ten different drop-off points on Wednesday, November 7.
The drive aimed to provide sanitary and hygiene products to those in need as they are costly yet essential items.
The different drop-off points in UL included the UL Student Life Building, Glucksman Library and the Irish World Academy.
The initiative was led by Lime Tree Theatre marketing manager Gillian Fenton who arranged the first toiletries drive in Limerick last month.
Alongside Gillian was Jess Beeley who helped in setting up UL’s toiletries drive stating that Direct Provision is an unfair system which is not fit for purpose.
“We had a great response and a lot of staff offered their offices as collection points, it’s also wonderful that UL Student Life is now actively campaigning against Direct Provision,” Beeley added.
UL students are calling for an end to the direct provision system by asking it to reconsider its contract with Aramark Ireland, a campus food service provider that services three direct provision centres.
There are four direct provision centres in Limerick and Clare with over 550 people living in them.
The recent budget announced an increase for adults of €38.30 a week with children receiving a weekly allowance of €29.80.
Responding to the budget change, Beeley said: “The increase is an acknowledgment that the previous amount was not enough, but I know I couldn’t live on that amount a week, the toiletries drive is a small part we can play to alleviate the situation, but ultimately the entire system needs to change.”
A new Facebook page called ‘Voices from Direct Provision: Hear Me Now’ was set up by a group of asylum seekers and activists to share their Direct Provision experiences.
“We’re sharing the experiences of people living in direct provision in order to create an understanding of what it is and why it’s of utmost importance that the system is abolished,” the Facebook page owner said.
The toiletries drive exceeded expectations with a generous quantity of supplies donated.