‘Ireland is my country now … I feel secure here’
2015-12-01 16:42:47 -

The Integration Question with Princess Pamela Toyin


Since 2012, when Ireland and Brazil signed an agreement to allow to 4,000 undergraduates to study here, there has been an upsurge of Brazilians in the country, especially in the capital.
Heloisa Generoso-Callagy is one of these new arrivals. When she decided to move to Ireland a little over thee years ago, she admits she was not aware the country had more to offer her than feeling secure in the home of who are commonly regarded as the most welcoming people in Europe.
“What I like best about the Irish,” says Heliosa, “is their honesty and kindness and being helpful.” Just like the man she fell in love with, she laughs. 
The 37-year-old human resource analyst is adamant that her heart is more inclined to Ireland than Brazil these days.
And even though she is not working in her profession, Heloisa says she is happy working as a child minder, which gives her the opportunity to meet all kinds of people.
“I enjoy socialising with people of different nationalities. Since I came to Ireland, I have been trying to get to know people from Dublin and to meet other cultures so I’m not associated with only Brazilians.
“Before I met my husband, I would make use of the internet to meet people and socialise with people and to learn to speak English. I am here now and need to enjoy the Irish culture and people.”
As one might expect, Helisosa still has some reservations about life in Ireland.
“The public service is not as efficient as they could be,” she says, adding that restrictions on civil service jobs to EEA citizens makes it difficult for Brazilians and other non-European nationalities looking for jobs. 
“I mean it would be good to continue the career I had when I left Brazil, but we can’t get well-paid jobs, we only find jobs like cleaning, child-minding and housekeeping.”
Despite ever-thinning job opportunities in Ireland in their chosen fields, Brazilians are still coming to make Ireland their home. Some have filled a niche to serve homesick Brazilians their staple foods by setting up shops and restaurants. And many, like Heloisa, are determined to stay here for the long term.
“Ireland is my country now,” she says. “The Irish are good-humoured and relaxed and I feel secure here.”
Living in the city centre is also exciting for Heliosa. She says never really liked to go out so much in Brazil, but when she does so in Dublin, she prefers where she can enjoy native Irish culture rather than Brazilian-oriented places.
“Because I am here, I need to enjoy the Irish culture and the people,” she says. “Though most of our neighbours are from Brazil, our very next-door neighbour is from Dublin [and we get along well].”
- If you’re an immigrant anywhere in the world and have a story to share, whether on our own behalf or on behalf of someone else, please email echoesmediainternational@gmail.com.
Princess Pamela Toyin is a journalist and author with over 25 years’ experience in various roles, including as an executive PA to company directors, as a public relations executive, reporter, editor and publisher, research consultant and workshop facilitator.
TAGS : Brazilians Immigration The Integration Question Princess Pamela Toyin
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