2013 Volunteer Ireland Awards, Arts, Culture and Media

Kebba Cham, Diversity Sligo


Kebba has been a light and a role model to many adults and children over the past five and a half years. Kebba was an Asylum Seeker in Ireland up until August this year. Asylum Seekers living in direct provision in Ireland face many challenges, whole families can occupy one room and single adults often share bedrooms with strangers.  Asylum seekers have very little access to community activities and can often be isolated within the confines of the hostel they occupy. Kebba is resident at a hostel in Sligo with an enormous diversity of culture, religion and ethnicity. Kebba stepped forward to offer his leadership, guidance and communication skills to promote a more congenial atmosphere for the 200 plus residents of Globe House.

Kebba regularly organised football leagues between the travelling community, the settled community and the asylum seeker community. Kebba connected these communities and build relationships of trust, helping to enhance his community for the benefit of everyone. Through his work with children in the hostel, Kebba tirelessly helped them become more self-confident with greater self-worth. Although Kebba has received leave to remain in Ireland and therefore became a refugee, he continues his work with asylum seekers by assisting them to find places to live and helping them to rise above their situation and actively partake in community life. Mairead Higgins nominated Kebba for a Volunteer Ireland Award, she said, “Because of Kebba's presence among the asylum seeker community, many children and indeed adults walk a little taller and feel more integrated into the larger community.”








Photo taken by volunteer Redback Photography