Le Chéile Gym
Developed by migrant women through the Immigrant Council's Migrant Leadership Academy, Le Chéile Gym is a social enterprise providing free health & wellness support to refugees.
Megan Flynn Dixon is a migrant woman originally from New Zealand who took part in the Immigrant Council's Migrant Leadership Academy in 2020. Along with two other migrant women who also participated in the Leadership Academy, she founded the Le Chéile gym in Galway. The gym is a social enterprise and provides free health and wellness support to international protection applicants in the Galway area.
“I have always been interested in helping communities to help themselves, and bringing my business management skills to the not for profit sector. The Leadership Academy gave me practical tools for improving the impact of my work and expanded my network both socially and professionally.
“Along with my co-founders Jennifer Fri and Megan Maria Brown, I am so proud of what we’ve accomplished with Le Chéile. So many migrants and refugees in the international protection process are living in limbo awaiting a decision, with little to occupy their time. The impact on mental and emotional health in these situations can’t be overstated. I’ve seen such a change in so many clients at our gym. You can see in their faces they’ve been able to reclaim some of their livelihood. They feel like people again, not just a number in a long queue.
“The Leadership Academy empowers activists like me to take an idea and make it a reality. The skills I learned were invaluable in taking my initial concept and turning it into a working model.
“I would encourage other migrant activists to get involved. Those who feel passion to make a change in their local communities but don’t know where to start. Not only will you learn what you need to know, but you’ll be joining a family of migrant activists who are always there to lean on for support and for ideas. It’s been an absolutely fantastic experience.”
About the Migrant Leadership Academy
The Migrant Leadership Academy connects migrant activists and helps hone their skills. The academy runs Sept-Dec 2021 and is currently open for applications. Learn more or apply online.