The Haven is situated in Basin Lane, Dublin 8, surrounded by flat complexes and buildings in the heart of the Inner City. The area is very disadvantaged; with high levels of unemployment, poverty, and crime. The centre opened in 2008 and has grown from strength to strength. The name ‘Haven’ was chosen by the local people as they said it was their sanctuary, a place of peace and calmness where all are welcome.
Currently there are women and men of all ages from 25 countries coming to the centre. Classes include the following: English from beginners to Level 4, Computer Skills, Art and Craft, Mindfulness, Personal Development, Flower Arranging, Cookery, Parenting Skills and Relaxation.
On the 7th of March Celebrations were held to mark the 10th anniversary of the centre. Bunting, banners, flags, flowers made everywhere look very festive. Music was provided by Sr. Bernadette Sweeney and some of her music group from Crumlin. Our guest of honour was the well-known television presenter: Miriam O’Callaghan; her duties included unveiling our international plague and cutting the anniversary cake. Miriam was gracious and generous with her time, interacting with everyone and was willing to be photographed with anyone who wished. A few students shared their thoughts about coming to the Haven and how it has helped them.
All who come to the centre receive a great welcome and are encouraged to keep coming once they take the first step. For many this is not easy as in general confidence and self-belief is low. Achievements are acknowledged at the end of the year.
The photographs below will give a little flavour of the celebration.