Education Projects Updates

Culture, Faith and Community Event

Learning from the past and looking to a shared future: 

You are invited to this important upcoming event which is part of Dublin’s North East Inner City’s regeneration project ( We are gathering leaders and members from a  wide range of faith communities and faith-informed organizations in the NEIC, alongside community workers, activists and residents engaged with issues of justice, diversity, integration and community development.

Speakers include:

  • Terry Fagan – North Inner City Folklore Project
  • Salome Mbugua – AkiDwA
  • Lord Mayor of Dublin, Ardmhéara Micheál Mac Donncha
  • Father Peter McVerry SJ

All are welcome.

Thursday, 15 March, 9.30-1.00, Edmund Rice House, North Richmond Street, Dublin 1

Hosted by Dublin City Interfaith Forum and ACET.

Thanks to Dublin North East Inner City.

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Happy Christmas!

Thank you all for your interest and support throughout 2017. We are looking forward to 2018 with hope.

We wish all of you a very happy and peaceful Christmas,

the ACET team:

Richard, Terrie, Vivienne, Olivia, Hansi and Lynn

Our office is closed until 8 January 2018.

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World AIDS Day 2017 in Dublin

ACET staff marked World AIDS Day in three counties:

Richard Carson, ACET CEO, was a guest at an evening reception in Áras an Uachtaráin for HIV Ireland, at the invitation of President Michael D Higgins “to mark World AIDS Day, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of HIV Ireland, and to pay tribute to people and organisations working to prevent the spread of AIDS and assisting people living with HIV.”

ACET founder and quilt group coordinator Terrie Colman-Black and Olivia Corbett, care worker, were part of an Intergenerational Plenary at NUI Maynooth, where the Media Studies Department hosted “AIDS and Irish Media: Intergenerational Dialogues“.

Hansi Chisnall travelled to Galway for a conference, HIV and Ageing, hosted by AIDS West.



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Listening Skills Workshop

ACET recently held a HIV and Listening Skills training day at Living Waters church, a multinational church with Malawian origins, based in the North Inner City of Dublin. This workshop is part of our Migrant-Led Churches project which not only aims to raise awareness of HIV in the faith communities of migrants, but also strives to address root causes of HIV-related stigma.

ACET staff spent a full day training over 20 members who hold a range of leadership and membership responsibilities. Richard Carson brought the participants through the story of HIV, globally and locally. Every statistic, medical update or HIV testing opportunity is handled as an opportunity to challenge HIV-related stigma. The testimonies of church leaders living with HIV prove particularly powerful.

Vivienne Morrow Murtagh encouraged attendees to practice their Listening Skills using the Imago Therapy model, in which to truly listen one must leave your own world, cross over the bridge, and enter the world of the other. “The only thing you bring with you is your passport”, encouraged Vivienne as the disciplines of Mirror -Validate – Empathise were explained.

These training days with leaders and members of Migrant-Led churches encourage a culture of listening to challenge HIV-related stigma and all marginalisation. Pastors, married couples, even identical twins gave helpful feedback on their newly developing listening skills. “I have been in Ireland 7 years and I have never seen anything like this. It’s great! More churches need to do this” commented one participant.

These training days with leaders and members of migrant-led churches, encourage a culture of listening to challenge HIV related stigma and all marginalization. Pastors, married couples and even identical twins gave helpful feedback on their newly found listening skills. “I have been in Ireland 7 years and I have never seen anything like this. It’s great! More churches need to do this” commented one participant.

This project is supported by the MAC AIDS Fund.



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New Parent/Teen Communication Course Dates in Dundalk

“This course has enlightened me about how to deal with teenagers.” – Jesus Centre Dublin participant.

We know that Parenting is tough. We know that Parenting teenagers can be really tough. That is why we are bringing the vastly experienced staff of ACET Northern Ireland to deliver our Parent/Teen Communication Skills course in Dublin.

We have trained church leaders all over the country on HIV, listening skills, mental health and more. Together with our participants we have identified Parenting as an enormously challenging area, particularly in the context of the generation divide marked by migration from one continent to another. I remember the day a Pastor said to me, over coffee, “Richard, I don’t know how to talk to my 14-year-old daughter. It is like she is speaking a different language.” “You are not alone.” was my reply.

We have already trained parents on our Level 2 course in Jesus Centre Dublin. 100% of participants stated that the course equipped them to be better parents in areas such as Teenage Development, Strategies for Resolving Conflict,  How to Build Self esteem in Teenagers and Talking about Sex and Relationships with Teenagers.  Now we are repeating the same course for new participants

Would you consider joining us as together we explore areas of Conflict and Listening and see how God might equip us to become better parents for our wonderful children?

Course Details:

Saturday 13th May: 9:45am – 3:30pm

Saturday 27th May: 9:30am – 4:00pm

Attendance is required for both days.

Venue: RCCG – Miralceland, Castletown Road, Dundalk, Co. Louth.

Lunch will be provided. All participants will receive a Level 2 Open College Network (OCN) Northern Ireland qualification and will be introduced to further options for learning in this area including the chance to become trainers themselves through a Level 3 course. There is no charge for this course and there are limited places. To book your place contact Richard Carson at or 0860482094 (On WhatsApp or phone)

This project is funded by the MAC AIDS Fund.

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Valerid and Richard Carson at the GALA Awards.

Awards and Recognition for ACET

ACET’s own Richard Carson was honoured for his work in three award ceremonies in recent months.

First up was the DebSandy Foundation who provide information, support and access to healthcare and advocacy. They presented an award in recognition of Richard’s “valuable contribution to raising health awareness in Ireland.”

Debsandy Foundation award.

The Sunrise Foundation presented Richard with an award at a spectacular event in the Gresham Hotel in Dublin.

Richard Carson accepting Sunrise Foundation award.

Finally, Richard was nominated for the Noel Walsh HIV Activism Award at the 2016 GALAS – Ireland’s LGBT Awards. At a great night at the Mansion House, Deirdre Seery won the award for all her work with the Sexual Health Centre in Cork.

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New Parenting Course for Project Hope

In 2016 ACET Ireland launched a new initiative for parents and those who work with parents.

The Parent/Teen Communication Skills Course is specifically tailored for migrant communities, addressing their particular challenges in raising teenagers within a cultural context different from that in which parents grew up.

The course will be delivered in conjunction with staff of ACET Northern Ireland and is accredited to the Open College Network (NI) at Level 2 (similar to FETAC Level 5-6).  For more details contact Richard Carson at

This course is part of Project Hope, our initiative with migrant-led and multicultural churches. The need for support in parenting has been identified following extensive consultation with the many church leaders we have trained and their congregants.

By equipping parents in their communication with a new generation of Irish young people we are addressing areas such as sexual health and HIV.

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World AIDS Day 2015

NO FEE 14 International AIDS Day

ACET staff member Lynn Caldwell joined with the Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar TD, for the launch of the campaign at governement buildings.





This Tuesday, 1st December, is World AIDS Day.  ACET has joined with a broad range of agencies, including the HSE, to be part of the first National World AIDS Day campaign.

With 203 new HIV diagnoses for the first half of 2015, 1 in 4 people living with HIV unaware of their status having not tested and HIV stigma still a major challenge, this campaign is timely and important.

This Tuesday, wear a red ribbon, share the posters, learn more about HIV, challenge stigma and get tested.

Check out all the latest on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Details of your nearest testing centre are available at the newly launched HIV Services Ireland website:




World AIDS Day



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Stories of Belief with LGBT Christians – NEW DATE

We are delighted to annouce a new date for our Stories of Belief event.

On Saturday 25th July (10am-4pm) at the Lucan Centre we will gather leaders of evangelical churches and LGBT Christians. This is the second such event after a fully-booked event in March.

Stories of Belief – Faith and dialogue in a post-referendum Ireland.
We will be speaking with each other in the wake of the referendum on marriage equality, reflecting on the dynamics and tensions of faith, dialogue and sharing. We will also be hearing from first person narratives, learning from experiences of inclusion, and experiences of being misunderstood.
This seminar doesn’t seek to bring all participants to a place of agreement with each other. The seminar rests on the idea that in order for meaningful disagreement to occur, real understanding has to be in place.
People of faith together, LGBT people, supporters of marriage equality, those who are concerned at the outcome – we will seek to embody gospel values as we create a community of discussion and understanding with each other as we explore how we can live well together in a post-referendum Ireland.

Facilitators include: 

Poet, theologian and group worker, Pádraig Ó Tuama is the team leader at the Corrymeela Community. His book of prose and poetry, In the Shelter, is published by Hachette Ireland and is available in all good bookshops.

Richard Carson is the Chief Executive of ACET Ireland and has 15 years experience training on the interactions of faith, sexual health and sexuality around Ireland and in 13 other countries around the world. 

To book a place for the event, which is supported by the Community Foundation for Ireland, please contact Richard Carson at richard(dot)c(at)acet(dot)ie



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Healthy Church Training completes Year 1

On 23rd May we completed the final Healthy Church training day of the academic year.  These training days, led by highly experienced facilitators, seek to equip church leaders to more effectively address HIV and other health issues within their congregations.

In the last year we have trained over 50 leaders who engage with tens of thousands  of congregants across the country.  Their churches are generally migrant-led and originate in a range of Sub-Saharan African countries. We have also trained the leaders of some multiethnic churches – those in which the leadership team as well as the congregation is multiethnic.

Through the year our team have learnt an enormous amount about training in an intercultural context in which the themes of health, faith and integration interact. We will be spending the next few months completing evaluations and writing up and collating our training materials in preparation for 2015-16.

To read more about how the first half of our academic year went check out our Annual Report.

A big thank you to the Lucan Centre for hosting us over the past year.  We have also worked with groups of leaders in smaller geographical areas such as the North East Inner City of Dublin where we work in partnership with Acts of Compassion Project.

Keep an eye out for announcements of our next round of training in August.

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