Who we are

Fáilte Isteach is a community project involving predominantly older volunteers welcoming migrants through conversational English classes but to the 120+ communities it impacts across Ireland, Fáilte Isteach classes are so much more.

Our groups provide a space for those who are isolated to connect; for perspectives to evolve; for attitudes to change. The informal, relaxed approach to learning allows the most marginalised in our society to engage with others and truly integrate into life in Ireland.

What we do

Our classes improve language and reduce loneliness for over 4500 migrants, allowing for long-lasting, authentic community integration. Our classes salute the often overlooked potential of 1500 older volunteers who make Fáilte Isteach a reality.

Fáilte Isteach embraces a relaxed, unstructured learning environment. Our classes are tutored entirely by volunteers who are encouraged to welcome participants to their community through language; identify needs through conversation and focus primarily on fluency and building confidence. Flexible classes allow our volunteers to support participants in their immediate language requirements while offering a warm welcome. 

How we started

Fáilte Isteach was established in October 2006 by Third Age in response to the observed daily difficulties that new migrants were experiencing integrating into the local community through a poor understanding or lack of English. Following its success as a pilot project in a small rural community, Fáilte Isteach was launched nationally in late 2008. From the inaugural class in Summerhill involving 12 volunteer tutors and 7 students, Fáilte Isteach has now grown to 170 classes across 26 counties, with over 1500 volunteer tutors who support the integration of 4500 migrant students by delivering over 96,000 hours of free tuition annually.

Our aims

  • to provide the necessary language skills to migrants in a student-centred, welcoming and inclusive manner.

  • to establish a network of Fáilte Isteach groups in communities throughout Ireland.

  • to involve older volunteer tutors and recognise their skills, expertise and contribution to the community.

  • to promote greater integration and achieve a new sense of community spirit, by forging new friendships and facilitating learning among and about different cultures.

You can find out more about Fáilte Isteach is this external evaluation undertaken by the School of Education, Trinity College Dublin in 2013 [PDF]