For centuries glasses were raised to toast the health of friend’s and for practical reasons — to assure them that the wine they were about to drink wasn’t poisoned. To spike the wine with poison had become an all too common means of dealing with social problems — disposing of an enemy, silencing the competition, preventing a messy divorce, and the like.
This was not the case at the joint NASC/COIS TINE wine tasting fundraising event which took place recently in Cois Tine’s premises at St. Mary’s Popes Quay. Here the toasts of the evening were a sign of close cooperative relationship that exists between the two agencies, which both benefits our immigrant client group and, in these difficult times, avoids wasteful duplication.
The occasion also provided an opportunity to raise awareness of asylum seekers living in direct provision centres throughout Cork. While much needed funds were raised the living conditions of asylum seekers in the direct provision system were also highlighted. The tickets symbolically priced at €19.10 allowed a good value entertaining night out but also represented the inadequate amount money asylum seekers receive each week to cover personal needs such as transport, toiletries, entertainment and the phone cards that allow contact with family back home to be maintained. The odd amount of €19.10 is as a result of converting the 15 Punt asylum seekers allowance to Euros back in 2002 . This allowance has not increased since then.
Proceeds from the event will go towards Cois Tine and NASC programmes for the integration of asylum seekers into the local community. To all who attended, sponsored and supported the event in any way – CHEERS!!