A young entrepreneur, Ciara Ryan (29) from Dundrum in Dublin, has launched a website to raise funds for emigrants who cannot afford to come back home on visits or permanently.

The idea for Fly Them Home came about in the run up to the launch of The Gathering. Ryan had been talking to a school friend who has been abroad for five years and did not have return funds.   

“I thought wouldn’t it be great if all her friends could each donate a little towards her flight. A little from many would amount to a lot, affording her the opportunity to purchase a flight home.”

She did some research and found no site like this existed solely for flight funding and set about finding a web developer who’d take on the project.

“It took roughly 8 months to implement but it was worth the ups and downs as the end result is a simple, easy to use site.”

So how does it work? Fly Them Home is classed as a ‘Crowdfunding’ website. Crowdfunding explains the collective effort of individuals who network and pool their money, usually via the Internet, to support other people or organisations.

“Our website provides a platform whereby friends, family members, or individuals abroad can create a Flight Fund page in order to raise funds for that flight home. A flight fund page is created by the individual or on behalf of the person abroad and is then promoted through social networking sites and through a unique link that only friends and relatives can see.”

The site can also be used to fly relatives out to the country where their loved-ones have settled. They may wish to start a fund to fly their parents or siblings out to see them. That’s what crowdfunding is. Every small donation from the few amounts to a lot for one.

“Given that a recent survey showed 300,000 people have emigrated from Ireland in the past four years, there are a lot of people suffering the pain of separation from their families and friends.”

Ryan added, “This is a simple and very cheap way to reunite emigrants with the people who love them most.”

‘Fly Them Home’ seeks to help immigrants who can’t afford to fly home to IrelandGoogle Images