Thursday 22 February 2018

'I'm not leaving unless they physically remove me' - Mum-of-three fights move to direct provision centre in Galway

Babalina Baliso with Foyour (8 months) and Vanessa (3)
Babalina Baliso with Foyour (8 months) and Vanessa (3)

Ryan Nugent

A South African mother who has a child currently attending a special needs school in Dublin fears she and her three children are to be moved to a direct provision centre in Galway.

Babalina Baliso (34) and her young family are one of four cases affected at a self-catering direct provision centre in Dublin.

Ms Baliso has been living at Watergate House on Usher Quay, Dublin 2, since 2014 and received residential status in December last year.

The status means that she can legally work in Ireland and qualifies for the Government's Home Assistance Payment (HAP) scheme.

Ms Baliso, who has been living in Ireland for seven years, told the Herald that she was accepted on to the HAP scheme in May but has not been able to find suitable accommodation as of yet.

Her eldest daughter Viwe (13) currently attends a special needs school in Chapelizod -with a psychologist for the child insisting that she needs to stay at the school for her well-being and education.

"The school is special needs and you need to be on a waiting list to get into that type of school," Ms Baliso said.

"It's very difficult and painful. We have been trying to get a home on HAP, but landlords won't accept it."

The direct provision accommodation on offer to the family in Galway differs significantly to the current self-catering apartment where Ms Baliso receives an almost full supplementary welfare allowance.

It would be a shared accommodation where families receive €19.10 per adult and €9.60 for a child.

It is understood that the Reception and Integration Agency, which is under the responsibility of the Department of Justice, is eager to move the families who have residency in order to make space in the Dublin accommodation for new people under direct provision.

Lucky Khambule, of the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland, is another one of those set to be moved out of the accommodation.

The South African told the Herald that he is to be moved to a direct provision centre in Co Longford.

However, Mr Khambule, who has also obtained residency in Ireland but cannot find a home using HAP, has said that he will have to be physically removed from the home.

He has been a resident in Ireland for four years.

"It would be back to where I was at the beginning," Mr Khambule said.

"I'm not going to be leaving here unless they come and physically remove me.

"I will also resist that," he added.

The Department of Justice is understood to have been liaising with those involved and other housing agencies in order to find suitable accommodation, which would be the preferred scenario.

However, it declined to comment on any individual cases when contacted by this newspaper for a response.

Herald

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