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I Realised I Was Not Alone

By 23 June 2023July 19th, 2023No Comments

My name is Mel Morano. I’ve been living here for almost 16 years now and I consider Ireland as my second home. I came here with the hope of working and supporting my family, but I soon became undocumented. Life was tough, I was always uncertain and scared, living in the shadows for years. I almost gave up, but then I was introduced to the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI), an organisation that advances the rights of migrant workers and helps to fight against social injustice, exploitation, racism, and other issues concerning people with migrant backgrounds.

Mel stands in a sunlit room, smiling and holding a hula hoop.

I met people with same goals, hopes, dreams, and struggles – I realised that I was not alone. In MRCI, I felt safe and accepted. I found a home and a family.

MRCI did not just inspire me to dream bigger, but also empowered me to fight for that dream to become a reality. I became an active member of the Justice for Undocumented (JFU) Campaign, which fought for a pathway to papers for undocumented people living here in Ireland. MRCI tirelessly supported and walked with us throughout the campaign. It was a long and tough journey but we persevered, until we finally claimed victory in 2021 after 11 years of campaigning. Last year, I got my residency status through this Regularisation Scheme, a dream come true for me and thousands of other migrant workers have granted status as well.

Challenge for Change is a fundraiser to help MRCI raise money to continue the many vital projects and work that fight for justice and equality for all migrant workers and their families. I have participated in the Challenge in 2020 and 2021 – it was a highly successful and enjoyable experience. We were able to smash our target and I’m hoping we do the same this year.

My life would not be the same without the guidance and support from MRCI. Being one of many migrants who lives were changed tremendously by the support of this amazing organisation, I am determined to give back and support them in any way I can.

For the Challenge, I am going to do hula-hoop workouts every single day for the whole month of July! It will be tough considering my long day and night shift work schedule, but I feel great and happy to do it to support MRCI. This is also a great way to connect with the community through posting videos and photos of Challengers all over Ireland and seeing them challenging themselves! That will definitely inspire me to keep going on! It will also help us feel good about ourselves, keeping fit, getting creative, and having fun while raising money for a good cause. It will be great to have a sense of achieving something together as a community.

Will you join and support me in this Challenge? We need our help for us to achieve our fundraising goals. Let’s do this together!

– Mel