Bringing Design Closer with Gerry Scullion

Bulelani Mfaco ‘Surviving on the margins of society’

John Carter
July 16, 2020
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Bulelani Mfaco ‘Surviving on the margins of society’

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In this episode, I speak with Buelani Mfaco, a South African asylum seeker and activist based in Ireland – he’s a spokesperson for MASI, the movement of asylum seekers in Ireland and is an active voice in shedding light from within one of Irelands Direct Provision centres in Knocklisheen in Co. Limerick.

To give some background to this system, in 1991, only 9-people sought asylum in Ireland, compared to 3883 in 1997. This caused alarm to the Irish and the Irish Government at the time, But rather tackle and provide a safe refuge for these people who are vulnerable, they created this scheme to detract or reframe that the Irish “social welfare system was in some way attracting asylum seekers to this state”.

Some people listening may ask how this topic is related to Design – it is absolutely interrelated. The awful experiences that Bulelani and the thousands of people in the Direct Provision scheme are facing, as a direct result of a system that was created by the Irish Government in 1997.

This episode is an example of a system that was NOT created from a human-centred perspective – not in the slightest. As an Irish person, I am extremely embarrassed that this scheme is still in existence. An updated new Irish Government has committed to dissolving Direct Provision, but we discuss in this episode what that might look like.

Episode Transcript

John Carter
Tech Vlogger & YouTuber

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