Mr Itayi Viriri
Itayi’s research will identify challenges and difficulties faced by separated children seeking asylum or ‘aged out minors’ (AOMs) – i.e. SCSA who have reached 18 years – who have been granted refugee status or leave to remain in Ireland. The research will identify a model of integration supports that should be established to ensure that such supports provide SCSA and AOMs with a smooth transition to adult and independent life thus facilitating their successful integration into Irish society. Whilst research has previously been carried out on SCSA and AOMs still in the asylum process, very little or no comprehensive research has been undertaken with regards to challenges and difficulties faced by SCSA/AOMs who are granted refugee status to leave to remain. The possible reason for this could be the widely held assumption that once they are granted some form of status, everything falls into place and they can get on with their lives. This research will show that this is not the case.Originally from Zimbabwe, but now an Irish citizen, Itayi has been working in the Irish asylum and immigration NGO sector for past six years with his most recent role being the coordinator of the Immigrant Council of Ireland’s Leadership and Mentoring programmes. He joined the ICI from the City of Dublin Vocational Education Committee, where he was the Project Manager of the EQUAL Transition Supports Project which brought together key government agencies to coordinate, integrate and deliver services to young asylum seekers. Before that, Itayi was a Policy Officer with the Irish Refugee Council. Previously, Itayi worked as a journalist in his native Zimbabwe for The Standard newspaper, and in Ireland - with The Limerick Leader and as a co-presenter on RTE TV’s multicultural series Mono. Itayi has also done extensive commentary work on Irish TV and radio on issues ranging from asylum and refugee issues, immigration, racism to Zimbabwe. He has a degree in Mass Communication (Journalism) and a postgraduate diploma in Public Relations, an M.Phil in Ethnic and Racial Studies and an M.Sc in Cyberpsychology. Itayi’s research interests include the utilisation of ICTs to facilitate development in the developing world, cyberspace/internet techonologies, asylum and refugee issues, integration of migrants.